John Wayne, fake tits, mad ambition, and untamed frontiers.
These are thoughts that come to mind when dreaming to the last direction on a compass, and a new band is following that needle all the way home. The West was born in a crowded three-bedroom apartment in Long Beach, California, in the Fall of ’07. In the beginning there was only one member and a narrow tolerance for anything less than the most heartfelt of song writing. The son of die-hard music aficionados, Wesley Richman was born with staff notes in his blood - although to this day he seems uninterested in reading them. Alone and inspired, he began writing the bare bones of what would soon become Awake & Waking Up and only upon nearing completion did he set out to form a band. The weeks passed and by spring all five members had signed their names to the roster. It was the communative love of Dylan, Seager, Morrison, O’Berst (Bright Eyes), and Brock (Modest Mouse) that brought together Dave Gatlin, Denise Heinrichsen, David Ponce, Chris Davis and Wesley Richman; an otherwise unlikely collage of musicians.
Scraping together what little resources and few instruments they had, they cultivated a forceful sound that's been described by some as "hot joy and soft desperation". Paying little attention to the passing fads of the hour, they instead resurrected the virtues of classic rock and telescoped the new horizons of indie sound. The West released their debut album Awake & Waking Up on June 6, 2008 to a sold out crowd at The Derby in Hollywood.
Lyrically, The West finds no territory to too controversial to spotlight. They revel in pushing every scenario one step further than popular opinion deems acceptable. From spiraling airplanes to roadtrip lovers, from prescription uppers to religious downers, from neurotic youth sympathy to unflinching self-disclosure; The West crafts every word like testimony, owing much of its magnetism to Richman’s obsessive writing habits. Breezing through the lyrics will acquaint you with the stories of genuine characters, often teetering between self-destruction and success… and not always emerging victorious.
Awake & Waking Up plays like vignettes of a flawed and fearless life. "A Perfect Day in 3 Acts" and "Burn Brighter" take up a quick residency on any playlist, eventually giving way to “Brother”, "Girls at War”, and "The Light Uppear". With their debut album now pressed and local adoration at its height, The West seems to have nowhere to go but skyward. Their near-capacity shows span California top to bottom, while their touring plans stretch even further. They are the unveiled newcomers to watch in these upcoming months and their audacity will certainly not disappoint.