It is amazing how many great, young, extremely talented bands are out there just waiting to be discovered. Western Sand is all of the above, and more. By their name, their logo (a ram’s head skull) and, most importantly, listening to their four-song, self-titled EP, you’d swear they were from a small town in Alabama. They are, in fact, from the south—the south of England, that is!
Western Sand is Tyler Hain, guitar/lead vocals; Jimmy Bradshaw, guitar; Findley Hotchkiss; bass, and Nathan J. Kay, drums. These four guys have so much musical ability it’s scary, particularly when you consider that the age of these dudes ranges from 19-23.
The EP wisely accentuates the rhythm section, with drums and bass prominent in the mix. Kay cites John Bonham and Keith Moon as influences, and it shows in his playing. Hotchkiss is such a great hard rock bass player…in each song, his bass lines are like thunder, constantly pushing and driving the songs. With their twin guitar attack, Hain and Bradshaw are reminiscent of Rossington and Collins in Lynryd Skynyrd’s glory days, blazing both call-and-response and harmony guitar solos. Take It Away features an absolutely crushing wah-wah solo from Hain, with Hotchkiss contributing dramatic, well-timed slides up the neck of his bass, and Kay pounding the drums with Bonham-like fury. Broken Bones starts with a soft acoustic guitar intro which—of course–doesn’t last long. The tune quickly ramps up with another killer guitar solo, this time from Bradshaw. (Not to be left out, Hain roars with one of his own later on).
Welcome To The Badlands has a twin guitar solo that breaks into each guitarist playing off the other, then back to a harmony solo in double-time.
OK, let’s cut to the chase. You need to get this EP, and play it loud. Real loud. Vibrate the walls/piss off the neighbors type of loud. It will rock you so unbelievably hard you’ll feel like you got hit by a freight train—and you’ll love it so much you want to get hit again and again.
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