Maria Mar’s Local Radar: The West Front

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! Other than the fact that your work week is halfway done, it means we are ready to chat local music. I am glad you guys have been checking out the bands I have been spotlighting, and hopefully they are making it to your playlists! Tons of local acts are really branching out of the area as of late, going on tours, playing with national acts, and establishing themselves in other areas of the country. Super cool, right? I love getting messages with bands breaking news to me so I can share it with you all! That being said, I have some awesome groups rolling through Jersey Rock this fall, so keep your ears and eyes peeled.

Now, while on the topic of awesome bands, I wanted to bring one to your attention that has got my juices flowing. They go by the name of The West Front. Now, you may have heard of them already, for they have been active in the scene for over 10 years. However, with some lineup changes, new tunes and a strong determination to keep the band alive, they are still keeping it moving in the local scene. It’s funny how bands can become somewhat resurrected over time, and this is a perfect example for me.

From what I read off their bio, they have hit some highs and lows as a group, like many out there. However, they stuck together and landed up where they belong: right on top. They are an “alternative/acoustic/rock” act from New Jersey, and state that like everything from “Metallica to Nirvana.” That alone makes me interested, for that genre range of influences is pretty diverse! I have yet to experience this band live, and I am so excited that they recently announced they would be playing at Monmouth University’s home opener this year on Sept. 14. Live music and football you say? I feel this will be a perfect show for them, as they can attract the ears of not only parents, but students as well. This will allow for a nice, diverse group and age range of new fans that may not have ever had any sort of intention of catching this band live. I cannot think of anything better than that, so sign me up! Any time you are at a place that you aren’t expecting to see a live band, and then one shows up, it’s always a recipe for a good time. They also seem to have a lot of cool things planned for the fall, so be sure to check out their Facebook and ReverbNation pages to keep up with their touring.

Upon first checking out this band, I sampled two tracks entitled “Crazy As Love” and “Remember When.” These songs are very strong, and although they are definitely rock, they find ways to augment that standard rock format. I cannot put my finger on it, but something about this band sticks out. Their songs are tight, concise and inventive. I then proceeded to spin “Sunday Morning” and “Lost My Fire,” which also threw me for a loop. In addition to rock swag, The West Front also have poetic-like lyrics, amazing lead vocals, hard-hitting guitars and a solid rhythm section. Needless to say, after listening to their music a few times through, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot find one song that I don’t like! If you asked me to pick a favorite, I am not sure if I could, but I will try right here. I guess I would have to say that my favorite track is “She Might Never.” It has confidence, synthesis of sounds and a settled direction that really helps make this an essential part of the band’s catalogue. I love the lyrics most of all, as I think that’s what hit me the hardest. It may sound cheesy when they belt out “Remember when she said goodbye,” but at some point in life, this is a lyric that almost everyone can relate to. Plus, the guitar work is simply captivating in parts.

A perk for all of you local music lovers, you can download their entire EP for FREE. Yes, for free. I love when bands do this because it shows they aren’t all about the business. I mean, naturally, yes, we all need to make a living, but letting people sample your music without getting anything in return demonstrates pure passion and love for the game. Even if your feelings are a bit mixed at first with The West Front, experiment with the EP for a little while. It has a great flow along with a great mix of darker tones and a slight hint of that hope that a listener can truly grab on to. This is a CD that is true to who they are: a band that’s here to stay. Even before seeing them live in person or getting to know them at all, I can tell through their music and videos that they delivery diversity, raw energy, honesty and consistent melodies. Although I could see The West Front blending into commercial rock radio flawlessly, their music still continues to be organic and speak for those who may not get their voices heard.

I cannot wait to catch The West Front in early fall and hopefully find out that they are working on some new tunes. Hey, take this as a hint if you are reading, fellas. I am always a fan of bands that like to experiment, so maybe I will be satisfied to find that they are pushing the envelope slightly. As time goes on, I hope their energetic, hard rock will have been lauded time and time again in the high points of their careers with mature progression. Be sure to check out this band for yourself and maybe we can all sit around the fire and listen together. I will be back next week with another act that I am infatuated with, so go ahead and do something to surprise me! Keep the scene alive, because without people like you, it’s nothing.