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WEST WICKHAMS - Magenta - EP REVIEW



WEST WICKHAMS

Magenta

Surrey, United Kingdom


Credits - Jon Othello and Elle Flores

West Wickhams are bringing their unique blend of punk and grunge to centre stage once again with their latest EP release, ‘Magenta’. It is a collection of songs and feelings that cultivate angst and mass as they barrel through drab halls of warm colour, pursued by a gaggle of prospective fans. It is a sound that we are hungry for. The groans and tones and punchy guitars, it's a West Wickhams party and we’re all not invited, which is a good thing, because now we get to sneak our way in or fight with the bouncer. ‘Magenta’ is exclusive in its indie/punk animosity and it feels desirable in the gloom, magnetic, engulfing.


The album starts with, ‘Swear Above Suspicion’. 2 seconds and you know the drill. The guitar climbs and crashes, the drums follow suit in a barrel march. The bass adds some colour as the vocals pull you out of the light and into the neon dark of the West. When the chorus hits it feels like the beat matches that of your heart, it pounds away from your inside out, it's personal and they mean it. A visceral opening to an album that knows what it is and wears its identity on its sleeve, expressionism and romanticism galore in the neo-punk glare.


Following that tremendous open comes more sounds that add to the ever-expanding shadow presence that has become, West Wickhams. ‘This is a Hang Up’ is full of attitude. Its faster, more pace fuels the bass and drums as they sway together, the guitar plucks a melody and smashes chords together, the vocals talk into the echo, restrained. When the chorus comes around the windows open, letting the air and moonlight in, it allows you to take that needed breath, take in the cold that has been lost in the humid punk tones. It's a surreal poem in a song. These tonal shifts are followed by, ‘Even The Heathers Ask Why’ the heaviest rock song on the album. Guitars strum in the back as the melody is called out by a solitary guitar on the left, string synths rise in a cyclone in the back for texture and the drums time the cacophony. The vocals shout the instrumental down off of various ledges and it's an instant classic for me. It sums up all that ‘Magenta’ brings to the table, poetic lyrics delivered across the valley, shadows cascading down a volcano slope hard and fast as the punk band of dream space play on the coming of oblivion.


‘Masculin Féminin Hot Jump’ is the pop track on the album, all punk albums need one and this track certainly doesn’t disappoint. It's melodic, dark, and catchy and uses glistening bells to switch the flavour up. You’re left feeling spacey and uplifted in a salt bath of musicality. It pushes and builds and collapses on itself. It's one long phrase and is possibly my favourite track on ‘Magenta’. Wild and free. But there’s one more track to go.


‘The Sentinals’ sends us over Styx. Discordant and ghostly, still the melodies are there blending with the drums and bass, careening for the finish line. West Wickhams have gained a badge of honour with ‘Magenta’. The sounds that they display are raw, honest, human and bleeding in their fragility. It makes for a balancing act that is a spectacle to listen to, you hear each aspect of the song holding the other one up. The vocals catch the bass which catches the drums which carry the guitar which supports the vocals. It is cyclical and futile and that’s punk. ‘Magenta’ delivers a sound that we can all become lost in, a deep void of purple, red and black that opens up our souls and rides the plasma into the night.




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