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Album Review: The West – Never The Place

Artwork by Shawn Diaz

As I write this, I am currently battling addiction. I really, really like booze.

Anthony Darnell, lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and synth player for Seattle’s The West reached out to me several weeks ago asking if I would be interested in reviewing the band’s new album, Never The Place. I was flattered and I told him it sounded like a fantastic idea. **However, soon after our e-mail conversation I began a downward spiral into an at-the-time-never-ending empty sea of booze and depression.

That’s how I thought I would open my review for The West’s new album. Just like this. Actually, I was planning a more elaborate explanation of my plight because THAT’S interesting. Of course, that was when my mind was completely enveloped by a thick haze of warped, confused feelings, doused in sweet, sweet liquor. “FUCK THAT!” I said to myself. Nobody wants to read a record review and hear all about the writer’s goddamn issues. I ain’t got time for that, and neither do you, dear reader. Luckily for all of us, as of recently, I’ve been slowly crawling back to a place where I feel a bit more sane and somewhat inspired. So now I can write more freely.

The West, made up of Adrienne Clark (synthesizers, backing vocals), Anthony Darnell (rhythm guitar, synthesizers, lead vocals), Reed Griffin (lead guitar), Bob Husak (drums) and Jon Swihart (bass, backing vocals) is a band that, if they existed during the heyday of the Studio 54 disco era, would have most definitely been found playing beneath the slow, steady spin of the disco ball while the underground elite drugged and danced. Never The Place is that really fun friend who wants to party with you well into the night while ignoring the responsibility and consequence that sometimes comes after an evening of debauchery, dancing and disco. And so, as you can imagine, I absolutely love it. And, unlike that friend, and unlike drink, taking part in what The West have to offer here, won’t physically kill you.

Each and every track on this record is worthy of taking notice. “Last Time We Danced” is a breezy upbeat jam that has Anthony Darnell singing about running into a lover from the all-too-recent past who just can’t quit the memories that were made over an amount of time spent together. A story is told about someone who has moved on from the relationship but feels the need to placate the pain that still resides within the lost but not forgotten lover.

If you’re wanting a taste of something 1970’s- or 1980’s-era dance party – and something, specifically that won’t cause a nasty hangover – then The West’s new full length is the album that will satisfy your boogie oogie oogie needs.

Go here to learn about The West’s upcoming shows!

**Just so ya know, in no way whatsoever was there a correlation between being asked to review The West’s new record and my liquor soaked depressed state.

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