Just when you think you know your local scene (that this is not), your editor sends you a 4 track EP for review that turns out to be by a band from just the up the road and proceeds to blow your mind.
Western Sand are the band who play far too well to be that much younger than me and local to boot, but the evidence is clear. As first track ‘A Place I Call Home’ emerges from the speaker it is easy to mistake the music for new Black Stone Cherry material as never before has a UK band sounded so American, perhaps they should rename themselves Brit Stone Cherry and I say that with the highest of compliments. Tyler Hains has a voice that reeks of JD & Coke and belies his 23 years, whilst Nathan Kay keeps the drums sounding big and solid in the background.
‘Take it Away’ keeps the good vibes up with some monster guitar work courtesy of the twin attack of the aforementioned Tyler and guitarist Jimmy Bradshaw. I have no idea how Western Sand go about writing their songs, but there is certainly an abundance of talent here and I’m sure when they get round to releasing a full length album there’ll be no filler on there.
This amazing songwriting is never more evident than on ‘Broken Bones,’ with its light and shade structure and whispered “2…3…4…” during the intro. As the EP draws to a close with sprawling ‘Welcome to the Badlands’ you can’t help but picture how this is going to sound live with Findlay Hotchkiss driving that thundering bassline along and feeling it in your stomach
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long for that as Western Sand have been announced to support Black Star Riders on their UK Tour in November, starting of course, just up the road in Bournemouth, which I can already tell is going to be a great night for Western Sand and I’m bloody excited for them.
Locally speaking, Western Sand are the band Voodoo Vegas think they are, nationally speaking Western Sand will find 2014 a very good year and I won’t be surprised if Download supremo Andy Copping is in attendance at one of the Black Star Riders shows and makes a decision on the spot.
More information about Western Sand, including where and when you can catch them on the Black Star Riders tour, can be found on their website – www.westernsand.co.uk.