Live Wires: Baltimore’s Western Star re-electrify rock and roll on new LP ‘Fireball’
Despite what the heaping dung pile of mainstream music would suggest, rock and roll is very much alive and well in 2015. A lot of today’s rock bands might not be on major labels or headlining festivals, but they’re putting out incredible records and ripping up music venues wherever they go. Baltimore’s Western Star is one of those bands with a soaring guitar-rock sound that flows sheer electricity. This quartet from Charm City release their debut album Fireball this week (it’s out via San Antonio label Saustex) and it’s a pure gem in every sense.
Forming back in summer 2013 while working on a cattle ranch in East Texas, Western Star have an array of amplified anthems about heartbreak, partyin’, and life lessons that speak to the common human being. Consisting of Max Jeffers on guitar and vocals, his brother Nick on bass and alternate vocals, Justin Myers on lead guitar and backing vocals and Bob Shade on drums, this quartet combines their immense talents to create awesome and genuine music. What sets them apart from a lot of the others are their tremendous hooks and choruses. At times it’s hard to tell whether you’re listening to a punk song, a heartland rock ballad, or a ’70s-era metal rager. The melding of all three creates excellent results.
Produced by Ken Bethea from Old 97’s and recorded at Mobtown Studios in Baltimore, Fireball has a lot of intensity production wise. You can really feel each track waging war against your eardrums in a very enjoyable way. The title track kicks the album off in high-octane fashion, Myers flat out scorches on lead duties with an insane amount of guitar solos. If you had to pick what the big radio hit would be, “Thousand Heartaches” would have to be your primary choice. One for the hopeless romantics, the song is catchy in such a good way that you’ll want to listen to this track on repeat. A fusion of the punk, heartland rock and metal, “Clockwork” has fast paced rhythms, a bit of twang and a dose of epicness each time the brothers Jeffers and Myers combine on vocals for the chorus.
Western Star are going to be celebrating the release of Fireball tomorrow night at the S & J Crab Ranch in the college town of Towson, Maryland, with Dallas garage rock band Oil Boom. For a preview, stream Fireball at the link below and rock your face off.
Featured photo by J.M. Giordano