Friday, June 17, 2016

The Westies -- Six on the Out

Although it's a show about a blind lawyer who becomes a vigilante thanks to his super-heightened senses, I'd say the least believable aspect of Daredevil is the show's ability to make Hell's Kitchen time warp back to an ambiguous moment in 1997, when the neighborhood was grungy -- sure -- but relatively clean. (I guess not even the best set dressers can completely mask early-aughts gentrification's sledgehammer, but props to the folks on Daredevil and Gotham.) The Westies' odes to the Hell's Kitchen of yesteryear create an atmosphere that recreate what's been lost.

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.

The Westies -- OfficialFacebook, Purchase from the WestiesiTunesAmazon

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