Western Sand (UK) review

\"WesternDescribed as having “a swagger that belies their annoyingly young stance”, Western Sand are a UK based rock band who are already generating quite the buzz about their energy, passion and musical ability, as well as their “exceptional” live performances. With support slots alongside the likes of Nazareth, Jett Black, Heavens Basement and Voodoo Six (amongst others) already under their belts, Western Sand might be young, but they’re certainly setting the bar high from the word go. Formed in the winter of 2008 by guitarist Jimmy Bradshaw and lead singer, Tyler Hains, the guys recruited Nathan Kay on drums and Findlay Hotchkiss on bass – and the rest as they say is history. Now primed with their self-titled, 4 track EP,  Western Sand are about to reveal their full form, filling a gap in the market with their unrelenting determination to further develop, succeed, and progress. From the opening moments of A Place I Call Home what’s immediately clear is how much work has gone into the EP, Western Sand have taken a solid rock n roll sound, added their own approach to the mix and come up with something that’s impossible to resist. Akin to Buckcherry in many ways, the funky and groove laden mix offered up is one which is sure to remind anyone who hears it of why they first got into rock music, and just how good it can sound when done well. Packed with intricate lead lines, solid riffs, rumbling bass lines and vocals that are sure to have to grabbing for the air mic, you want catchy – you’ve got it! Take It Away follows suit in the same manner, once again displaying the bands own unique influences without allowing the music to become over complicated or pretentious, once again offering up a solid slab of in your face rock and roll, designed for drinking, dancing and damned good times. Softening their approach for the reflective and calming opening moments of Broken Bones we’re presented with another side of Western Sand, a side which focuses on melody and acoustic prowess, leading into the track in a manner which is sure to lure anyone who hears it in to listen further. Imagine Cemetary Gates by Pantera spliced with the catchy rock approach of Alter Bridge and you’re getting somewhere close to the sound on offer here, it’s a mix which is going to sit you back and force you to listen, penetrating deep into your mind whilst getting you singing along to every single word – definitely a high point on the EP and a track that’s surely going to solidify Western Sand as a must see act. Closing with Welcome To The Badlands the EP closes as it should, offering up one final dose of in your face southern style rock n roll, packed with hooks and moments that’ll get you moving and singing along, but leaving you gagging, begging and praying for just one more hit. Sometimes EP’s are fresh, new and exciting, and sometimes they simply fade into the world of music without really having any impact what so ever with the band shortly following suit. With Western Sand their self-titled EP is the former, offering up what could well be the best, most exciting release of the year so far. This isn\’t just an EP, this is THE Bill and Ted moment we\’ve all been waiting for, the moment when a band release an EP that could potentially change the world. Rating: 10/10 (and even this doesn’t quite do it justice) Words: Dave Nicholls