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4th & Wall

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Album Review

For the uninitiated, West Indian Girl are not a reggae band, and for those who haven't been paying attention, they aren't an electro-studio duo anymore, either. With 4th & Wall the twosome has expanded to a sextet with the addition of live bass, drums, percussion, and guitar, further swelled by a host of guest musicians, greatly extending WIG's aural vistas and influences — which now span the musical spectrum from synth pop to classic rock, from new wave to techno. A Keith Richards-ish guitar lick enlivens the infectious "Get Up," echoes of "Free Bird" soar in the finale of "Sofia," the Soup Dragons' spirit swirls around "Lost Children," and Echo & the Bunnymen's moody atmospheres pool around "To Die in LA" and "All My Friends." On the irresistible "Solar Eyes," the group juxtaposes bubbly synth pop against a lusher new romantic style and a four-on-the-floor disco beat, then stirs in spacy effects and a funky feel. Sadly, though, the set's sequencing is a bit slack, occasionally making for jarring shifts in styles between tracks, which is a shame, because in reality 4th & Wall is actually a quite coherent album. This is particularly evident in the songs' themes, which revolve around the lure of L.A. and its nearby beaches, as well as more universal interpersonal subjects. It's equally true of the music, even as the band drifts from gentle soft pop through Boston-styled keyboard rockers, the hefty space rocker "Rise from the Dead," and upbeat dance tunes. The styles may change and the atmospheres alter from languorous to driving, but what remains constant are the lilting vocals, strong melodies, and psychedelic keyboards that remain the core of WIG's sound. The pumping "Blue Wave" was the first number selected as a sound clip, but the new wave-ish "To Die in LA" and the breezy "All My Friends" would have worked just as well, while "Solar" should tear up the dancefloor. Like West Indian Girl's California home, the band's music is an exhilarating experience, and a fabulous place to lose one's self.

Customer Reviews

Wow ...

I heard "To Die in LA" on Sirius satellite radio (on the "Left of Center" channel), and I was sold immediately. It's easily the best new song I've heard in a long time. Great dynamics. Nice sound. Fun and creative. I really look forward to exploring more from this band. I feel like I made some kind of discovery! All my best wishes to this group.

Epic Pop? I can't even really classify it, but it's good

Indian Ocean's syrupie ending makes the album worth hearing but the i-tunes sample doesn't give you a taste of how it goes over the top. It reminds me of the Allman Bros. 'Melissa' in a way, but you cannot put these folks in a box. Go to their website and in 'Media' you can hear it. I'm curuious if anyone else can hit who they sound like? Wings with Alice in Chains' lead singer? Stephen Bishop w/ Supertramp? I dunno but I like it!

Look outside yourself

...and into the eyes of West Indian Girl. No doubt you'll hear traces of many things you've heard throughout your life, but no matter what, with each listen, you will hear something new. It may be a little guitar noodle or a subtle vocal or possibly a perfectly placed synth groove - whatever it is... I like it. For real folks, if you haven't heard WIG before, spend a buck and download a song. I like so many of the tunes and I get stuck on some for a while and then switch to a new one, right now its Up the Coast, but for a while it was Sofia - cos it makes me grin like a fool. How much better can it get? The answer is None. None more better. Download this.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Putting the "spaced" back into space rock, California neo-psychedelicists West Indian Girl play a druggy form of dream pop that takes the contemporary style of the Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, and Mercury Rev as their starting point and add '60s and '70s echoes ranging from the droning freakout side of the Velvet Underground through the phased meandering of early-'70s Pink Floyd to the Beach Boys' spaced-out post-SMiLE period. Though they sound like they've spent their lives within hitchhiking distance...
Full Bio
4th & Wall, West Indian Girl
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