A horrible hack

All Eyes West

Like Lightning

Year Released: 2019
Format: LP
Label: Jump Start Records
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Sep 29, 2019
This Chicago band released an EP in 2011, then a debut album in 2015. The earliest release sounded like the Foo Fighters really committing to Jawbreaker covers. If that’s your thing, go check it out – it was solidly done. Personally, it didn’t grab me, and I’m pleased their sound has evolved. They are still a straight-ahead rock band at the core. But the second-generation emo influence is closer to the surface. The guitars switch from frantic energy to yearning melancholy, often within a single track. The vocals have a weary gruffness, yet they’re melodic and expressive. There’s even a slower emo ballad (“Dream of a Nightmare”). The whole sound is polished. In fact, it will be too polished for some listeners – but there are no moments of cheese or in-authenticity, and there’s no filler. I don’t know about his two bandmates, but guitarist Jeff Dean seems to have three active bands plus an audio engineer job. I bet he gets through lots of coffee. Whatever’s keeping these guys alert, it’s paid off.

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