The Western Sons – Frontiers

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A couple of buddies jamming together in their basement is the thought that comes to mind when listening to The Western Sons. Four friends – Garrett Carr, Tyler Cohenour, Blake Rigdon and Kyle Meggison – started playing together at the University of South Florida and slowly but surely discovered a sound that they felt represented themselves. That sound is an incredibly defined Americana-rock.

The band’s sound has been compared Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams and Third Eye Blind, and I don’t think they could be any more accurate. The smooth, yet raw vocals of Carr are so reminiscent of Ryan Adams’ earlier work that you kind of forget who you’re hearing. Their debut album, Frontiers, has a very linear sound from start to finish. The guys don’t stray from what they know, and that’s not a bad thing. If you’ve found your niche, stay in it.

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From North Star to ‘49, the album is fun and easy to listen to. Many of the songs give off a sunny, summertime vibe – especially the title track. The song has some great melodies and the chorus is super catchy. It kind of reminds me of a softer version of some popular Arkells tunes, with the backing vocals and traditional percussion.

The guys slow it down a little bit with Underground, a song that seems to be dancing around the theme of heartbreak or sudden loss with lyrics like, “Calling out your name but I’m drowning.” I think there’s definitely a lot of heart in this one, and the layered vocals sound incredible resting against the soft percussion and guitar.  

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My favourite track from the album is Boys Like Me. It’s a little heavier and more rock than the other songs and the lyrics are kind of saucy – “I bet you get your tricks from boys like me.” This track also has a really fun build up at about 1:43 before crashing into the chorus again. I can imagine how stoked the crowd would get at that point in the song if it were performed live.

The Western Sons definitely have their sound figured out, which I think is pretty rare to hear on a band’s debut album. If they keep doing what they’re doing, they’ll be on the airwaves of plenty of the big indie-rock radio stations. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with next – I vote on a few acoustic tracks to really highlight those vocals. Definitely give Frontiers a try if you’re looking for some great summertime tunes – you won’t be disappointed.

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