Thirty years ago, Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine gave our ears a sonic blast with his wall of pedal drenched sound, prepping us for what could happen on a record without freaking out about the chaotic results. There have been plenty of shoegaze bands to come along since that occurred, but few have gotten how to bring that sound back into our heads. We’ve been fans of Sweden’s Westkust for a while, though their new self-titled album takes that pedal soaked guitar tone and hurls into a world where indie pop and indie rock intertwine while creating a sound that’s as infectious as it is inspiring.
Aside from the sonic intensity of the album, tracks just sparkle and pop when you experience them. The opener “Swebeach” is like getting hit over the head with guitar swells. It’s intense but that doesn’t mean it’snot also catchy. That’s the theme throughout this album, intense guitar sounds mixed with hook filled melodies and endearing vocals. Where “Rush” feels a little closer to bands like Lush or Swervedriver, songs like “Drive” and “Do You Feel It” ramp up the intensity factor with snappy strides that steer closer to fuzz punk.
Of course, while the pedals rule the record, there are also songs that aren’t as fierce as well. “Daylight” has sunny notations, “Cotton Skies” has plenty of pop touches and “Adore” will remind you of latter day tracks by The Cure without feeling like a copy of them. The standout of the release for us was “Junior,” where the band has a more melodic sound that meets a quick paced speed that never relents while holding your attention for the duration. Whatever is in the water in Sweden, we definitely want some for bands making this type of music here in the states. Westkust finds a way to fill your headphones with sound without ever really causing you to fast forward to hear what’s next.
You can stream Westkust on all streaming sites and you can purchase it digitally in all digital outlets. You can also purchase a purple vinyl edition of the album directly from Run For Cover Records. Westkust is set to appear in person at Fangelset in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 11.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Run For Cover.