This story begins in Portland Oregon, where a young Claremont Taylor spent the 90s as a regular in the northwest punk/grunge scene. In 1998 he returned to his hometown, NYC, where he co-founded what would become West with his brother Wellington Taylor. Together they began developing their unique sound, combining elements of free jazz, northwest garage punk, math rock, etc.
Claremont and Wellington began playing with long time friend Mike Zimberg and West was born. They set up shop in a small basement rehearsal studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and started gigging around Brooklyn and New York. In 2001 the trio ventured back to Portland to record their debut album, Trailduster, at Smegma Studios, releasing it DIY style on their very own Out to Lunch Records.
In 2002 Mike left the band to pursue the "boundless joys" of marriage. Claremont and Wellington asked Peter Rosch, their friend and fellow band mate from the group Richmond (Celebrity Hotwax, Olive Juice) to take over behind the kit.. His powerful and virtuosic drumming fueled the band into a creative writing frenzy.
Re-envigorated, West returned to Portland, OR to record their second full length album with Mike Lastra at Smegma Studios. In five days West recorded 21 tracks and came back to Brooklyn to mix and master it feeling a hell of a lot better.
Back in Brooklyn a burned CDR of West's new tracks was making the rounds and creating a buzz in the neighborhood. The Brooklyn indie label Two Dupes Records was quick to sign the young band and release their second album. WE FEEL BETTER NOW was officially released in late 2003 and to this day has only received glowing reviews. Songs off West's second release are now in regular rotation on XM SATELLITE radio and are being played on many college and internet radio stations.
In other recent news, WEST just acquired distribution on Apple I-Tune Music store, CDbaby.com, and dozens of other online music stores. WEST is also currently negotiating a nation wide distribution deal, details TBA and has been playing to a devoted and growing following at some of the finest clubs in New York and Brooklyn. Not to mention combing the east coast in Claremont's 78 Plymouth Trailduster and raising hell like the OK Coral anywhere they go.
For More infomation and or booking info E-Mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Claremont Taylor (Guitar-Vocals)
Wellington Taylor (Bass-Vocals)
Peter Rosch (Drums-Vocals)
Trailduster (out to lunch records), Portland OR 2001
We Feel Better Now (Two Dupes Records) Portland OR 2003
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Fronted by the brother Taylor on guitar and bass, West's songs display the kind of cohesiveness that...Fronted by the brother Taylor on guitar and bass, West's songs display the kind of cohesiveness that sibling bands can have. With solid shards of guitar counterpoised with classic flowing melodic bass, the smarter side of early British punk-saving grace- era Fall of Wire comes to mind. The riffs are simple and legible but the tone and feel are rich, the familiar still sounding frsh and satisfying.
-Dufresne, Village Voice
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My first thought was the singer, Claremont Taylor must really like Mike Johnson. There's that deepne...My first thought was the singer, Claremont Taylor must really like Mike Johnson. There's that deepness,same tones, same sadness. The music is moving along a bit heavier road, though-some slow rock, some funky drowning backbeat drumming underneath the desert style guitar. It's a place that still seems unsteady, like the singer is still looking for his own voice, but if it keeps moving along these gutter guitar touched dark wind streets, it'll hit him in no time at all. Hint of a more bar based Calexico filters through, with a touch of some early Screaming Trees swirl, and you know they'll find where they're going:
West-Josh Gabriel-The Big Take-Over
Off their Chest
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After West gets it all off their chest on their new CD they state We Feel Better Now. I sure heard s...After West gets it all off their chest on their new CD they state We Feel Better Now. I sure heard some influences from across the pond, namely The Sex Pistols and The Clash, and on this side, some Mudhoney and similar bands seemed to bubble to the surface on this album. In a nutshell, I felt better too, once I realized that there was so much to connect to within in their music.
The best way to put into words how I feel about this CD is that I thought it was entertaining, interesting and full of life, albeit with attitude. How could it not be with influences like the aforementioned legendary punk oriented bands? I never gave it a thought until I looked at the credits…this is a trio! They sure sounded like at least a five piece band while I was listening to this album, but that is a credit to their big and full sound, and some smart studio mixing.
They don’t seem to have a problem stating how the feel with some expressive language but that’s music and its only rock ‘n’ roll kids, so deal with it, that is what music is all about…telling it like it is. If you can’t handle the “Bloodshed” then “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” enough said.
For me, they took some getting used to but once I settled in, I found it a fun listening experience. When the CD was over, I felt satisfied and thought another listen would be a good thing to do. Beware though, once you think you have their atmosphere and sound down, they switch gears on you, which is actually pretty cool and what keeps the whole thing interesting. They are dark, alternative, and they rock, if any or all of those factors are important in the music you listen to then you will love West.
© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck- http://www.muzikreviews.com
March 18, 2004
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West We Feel Better Now West's We Feel Better Now is an amalgamation of styles cribbed from so...
We Feel Better Now
West's We Feel Better Now is an amalgamation of styles cribbed from some of the best of bands from the last few decades. The album opener, "Bloodshed," instantly makes one think of My Bloody Valentine; it's a swirling melodic song that promises more than this album could possibly deliver. The second song, "Get Off," sounds like a Hoodoo Gurus B-side -- interesting, but nothing that special.
Each song on We Feel Better Now sounds like West were trying to create a particular sound ("Hey, let's make our Peter Murphy song." -- "Ten Million People"), but it works for them. This is one of those albums you'll put on, and then everyone will swear they've heard it before (they haven't) and will wonder who it is and where you got it. You'll feel proud for owning it (you should). Brothers Claremont (vocals/guitars) and Wellington (vocals/bass) Taylor, and drummer Peter Rosch (drums/piano) have created an entertaining album, at times dark, at times poppy. Their mixture of styles ends up tilting in their favor, resulting in a very listenable record, much like their 2001 effort, Trailduster.
It will be interesting to see what West will do next. (DAC)
(Two Dupes Records, LLC -- 184 Kent Ave., Ste. 306, Brooklyn, NY. 11211; http://www.twodupes.com/; West -- http://www.westbywestwest.com/)
We Feel Better Now
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:: "We Feel Better Now" by West (Two Dupes Records 2003) buy! West - We Feel Better Now ...:: "We Feel Better Now" by West
(Two Dupes Records 2003) buy!
West - We Feel Better Now Untraditionally and darkly pop, West’s “We Feel Better Now” is not a single listen, disposable album. With melodic, catchy riffs, this indie rock band blends the instrumentation with the vocals. It is the bleeding of those rhythmic and repeating hooks that make things interesting on the band’s second effort.
Rough around the edges, “Bloodshed” has a distorted, engaging instrumental sound that draws you in subtly. With an opening lifted from the Dead Kennedy’s “Holiday In Cambodia,” “Get Off” is catchy and expectantly quicker with bass coming out. Darker, the melodic “Ten Million People” draws on vocals that vary between singing and speaking. Pattering drums and understated guitar hooks lead the quiet rumbling that grows loud on “You Can’t Go Home.” Adding strong vocals, from Genevieve Maull, to the mix with West’s singer/guitarist Claremont Taylor’s low growl, “Skin” is a sultry tune that creeps up on you before the upbeat sounding “Back to LA,” a rock tune with a quicker pulse. “Joseph” is mocking, building up to full choruses from solid, accusing verses.
With a long instrumental opening, “Bad Man” is quieter with melodic guitar before the rich acoustic track “Brothers Can’t Swim.” “Now we won’t stop for gas/And we won’t stop for food/The car is running on our anger/The car is running on our mood,” Taylor sings on “Brothers Can’t Swim.” Taking a turn towards a blues feel for verses, “Rain” has snarling guitar hooks. With a quicker and foreboding feeling, it is the loud chorus on “Tilla” that pounces. Quieter, somewhat muted, “Just a Girl” is lyrically driven while Maull returns, backed by gentle slide guitar, on “Bound.” Electric guitar grabs your attention on “El Dorado,” a mid tempo jam. West offer a final warning with the heavy, thrashing rock of “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”
Sounding like a focused indie rock band that knows how to jam when they want to, it is clear West are in control. The listener is the prey as “We Feel Better Now” builds, up and down, dynamically and stalks you with a sinister sound laced with repetition.
We Feel Better Now
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West: We Feel Better Now [Two Dupes] “I woke up burning in the sun.” Firstly, I would be wicked...West: We Feel Better Now
“I woke up burning in the sun.” Firstly, I would be wicked pissed if I woke up burnt, because skin cancer is not high on the priority list; but when I hear that line on West’s new album We Feel Better Now, it makes me feel that maybe lying around and soaking up the dreamy music they are playing would not be such a bad thing at all… in the shade. Or rather in the corner of a dark lounge with a cocktail and a cute boy… you know who you are.
West are kind of rock, kind of new wave, maybe a hint of goth seeping in, and some country guitar; but most of all, they are a kick-ass good band. West is brothers Claremont Taylor (guitar/vocals) and Wellington Taylor (bass), along with non-related drummer, Peter Rosch. A girl named Genevieve Maull sings on a couple of tracks as well, and she has a pretty voice that contrasts nicely to the very deep-voiced Claremont. At times, I think it is Leonard Cohen, but I don’t like him that much so it cannot be. I also think of Coyote Shivers on a few tunes, and that’s a good thing, because I can get down with him.
West are from (sigh) Brooklyn, NY. Is that bad? It depends. I live in the metropolitan area, and I just cannot decide, although I know I don’t like visiting Brooklyn very much. It’s hard to be hating on a borough that has a myriad of quality sounds spilling out of it. West are a visit to melodic, moody guitar and thick bass lines. They are a bit reminiscent of Interpol. The lyrics are sad, and someone sounds like they’ve had their heart broken one too many times; but love and loss are age-old themes and can’t really be disputed. What I am saying is that the album is good, broken hearts and all.
I am not sure what West means by the following line, and I am quite sure it would be interpreted differently by anyone who listened to it. But I know the way it is sung is why I like it, and you should go buy the album and figure out why you like it:
“When you start to feel the shame, that’s when you get off.”
This album can be purchased at CD Baby
NYROCK'S ON WEST
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West, We Feel Better Now (© 2003 Two Dupes Records) Dark and brooding, the opener comes at you heav...West, We Feel Better Now (© 2003 Two Dupes Records)
Dark and brooding, the opener comes at you heavy, pounding, and the disc just keeps getting better. Perhaps a good way to describe the sound is imagining if grunge music came out of New York. Whereas the murky Seattle sound always seemed to have a sense of desperation or anxiety, the music of West has a reserved, almost street-smart feel over a similar murky sound. It is not a sense of bleakness though, and there is a strong pop undercurrent. The songs can, however, have an almost horror-movie feel to them, as on "Skin," a tune that features Genevieve Maull as guest vocalist. And while her vocal interplay gives an X-like feel, the music, which builds slowly, sounds as if a chainsaw-wielding maniac is just around the corner. Founder/guitarist/vocalist Claremont Taylor did indeed spend time in the northwest in the '90s, and with brother bassist Wellington and drummer Peter Rosch, their sound is a reconstructed grunge, or grunge for the new millennium. The disc closes with "Don't Come Around Here No More," a heavy number, thundering out much the way the disc started. In between, though, the band varies their style, picking up where grunge left off and forging ahead. www.hellthy.com/west
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West’s songs seem to contain the darkness and vocal style of Sisters of Mercy (“Ten Million People”)...West’s songs seem to contain the darkness and vocal style of Sisters of Mercy (“Ten Million People”), yet with a more mellow and psychedelic tempo of a band like Brian Jones Town Massacre. Then you have songs like “Skin” that with guest vocalist Genevieve Maull remind me of early PJ Harvey/Nick Cave duets. Hmm, I like PJ Harvey.
West's typical set list is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. However we have no shortage of great material. West has about 4 hours of material we could play at any gig and we sometimes get into fights deciding which songs play. Usually we play songs off our 2003 release 'We Feel Better Now' (two dupes records) and our 2001 release 'trailduster' (out to lunch records). West is currently playing a lot of new material we plan on recording in the summer of 2005.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.