Well, that came out of nowhere. 364 days since West of House dropped their debut album, Crescendo of Silence, we find its follow up, Drown The Wind heading our way. No fanfare, no teaser, no hype…well, there might have been, I may have missed it, I’m so out of the loop these days, but anyway, here it is…and Entwined is the first single from it.
I have to say, anytime a band makes me think of REM from the opening salvo of jangling riff and clever vocal phrasing has got to be a good thing. And it isn’t even that they sound particularly like Athens, GA’s finest in the straight-forward sense, this isn’t about plunder or plagiarism, not by a long shot. It is more a vibe, an attitude, an approach. It’s in the way that the beat seems to push ahead rather than groove along. The way the main riff seems to spiral around gaining ground on itself as it goes. If I had the musical skills to follow the time signature, I’m sure that there would be something pretty wacky going on there too. It’s in the way that the song owes as much to prog rock, or progressive pop as it does to alt-rock or indie. (Genres, eh? They’ll always fall short.)
Entwined is a song about love. True love. Love that transcends colour or creed, race or gender, love that is about opposites attracting and also about like falling for like. Boundless love, love without fear judgement… or fear of judgement. Real love. Love conquering all.
And if the message and sentiment are worthy and enlightened, the music is equally smart and tastefully done. Whilst the lyrics beg the question of what will actually happen if we go against years of blinkered, conservative thinking, defy the teachings of those who profess to be the custodians of right and morality, (note: nothing will happen, except the spreading of increased joy and happiness) the song also proves that the same tribalistic vein that runs through music is equally outdated.
As swirling rock guitars and tumbling drums marry indie shimmer and shine, as genuinely poetic and poignant lyricism dance with infectious and beguiling grooves, as smart progressive tendencies are tempered by pop directness, you realise that it is in the interactions, the meeting points, the gentle collisions, the contrasts, the places where opposites attract, and not just attract but merge and become one, that enlightenment and evolution truly exist, where the seeds of a better world are sown.
And if you think that I am still just talking about music, then best you go and listen to the track again, and again, and again….