I have a hard time imagining these songs in a live setting. They're so carefully composed that they demand to be savored slowly and with repetition. However, in lesser hands they'd fall apart; the band's intensity and single-minded focus on the song's story guide our ears and hearts. Michael McDermott slings these songs as if Springsteen had spent an extra frustrated ten years spinning his wheels in Jersey. They elevate the little people, sure, but we feel the full weight of the boulders McDermott's characters have to push uphill. McDermott is convincing because he's been there himself. Unlike the Westies' first release, though, we get to hear McDermott's softer side with "Everything Is All I Want For You." Six on the Out cements the Westies' status as a perceptive group of artists with important stories to tell for all seasons.
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