Where Sails Meet Rails
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Where Sails Meet Rails

Tacoma, Washington, United States

Tacoma, Washington, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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"Where Sails Meet Rails Economics of Love EP"

Tacoma’s Where Sails Meet Rails have been playing together in the unit they currently form since June 2009, and prior to that the band had been playing for about 10 months with their original bass player, who moved to Texas. Once the band got its bass relief, the group started to focus, write more songs and make things happen for themselves, all while creating a solid local fan base.

Where Sails Meet Rails is composed of the following Tacoma-bred rockers: Matt Steark on drums, Jake Westhoff on guitar and vocals, Adam Zack at bass and Christian Jordan on guitar.

Describing their group as “catchy aggressive indie rock,” Where Sails Meet Rails cashes in on coalescing unyielding strength of musicianship, steadfast vocals and a combined taste and inspiration of bands past and present that combine independent spirits with a knowledge of what listeners like to hear, all while not compromising the musicians’ artistic values.

Right now, Zack affirms the band’s biggest influences are primarily catchy pop groups with loud guitars, which speaks volumes to the band’s contagious sound. “Groups like the Killers, Kings of Leon and Paul Simon – that’s what we look for.”

The first track off “The Economics of Love” practically blows out of the speakers upon initial listen. “Lovers With Empty Hands” gives listeners a taste of Sails Meets Rails’ ability to stun with their instruments. The track gives off a heavy nod to post-hardcore band Thursday, with smooth vocals and melodic guitars that conversely develop a deeper, rhythmic power. The chorus, “I’m frothing over/ overflowing my cup/ would you love me/ if I loved you enough?” highlights Westhoff’s dynamic vocals and songwriting, hearkening to situations where love can become an object one strives to attain, and that individuals become utterly obsessed to have. Cymbals, guitars and drums crash and build as the breakdown brings the song to its climax.

Acoustic guitar paves the slower beginning to “Waterboarding,” as the third track builds up followed by drums, bass and guitar. The guitar pedal effects on this track make it sound as though it could be described as “acid pop” and all the instruments in addition to screaming vocals build to top this track on an impressive note and the entire effort becomes a well-layered collage.

Proving that his band can mix serious lyrical content with laugh-inducing metaphors, the lyrics to the track describe two individuals damaging the other at what is probably the end of their relationship: “Let’s have a heart to heart/ I’ll give you a sad confession/ I wanted to hurt you but what could I do?/ you’re breaking my heart in two/ and then we break down…“if you’re gonna make an omelette/ you have to break some eggs.” A massive guitar solo toward the end culminates the song in a fitting way.

The E.P.’s final, bass-driven track, “Ghettobird,” tells of someone trying to intervene with a friend who is essentially a misanthropic downer who fails to see the good in any situation. “You don’t see the rose/ you just feel its thorns/ you don’t live your life/ for meaning anymore/ you don’t love the kitten/ you just fear its claws/ you don’t love your friends/ you just see their flaws.” Layered vocals beneath Westhoff’s give the track an old-school sound and provide perfect support to the other musicians.

Fans of pop bands that bring all the necessary elements for a successful indie group to the table for pleasurable listening experiences and that emphasize quality musicianship, vocals and songwriting will find all that they are looking for and more in Where Sails Meet Rails’ first recorded effort.

For more information about the band, visit their website at http://www.wheresailsmeetrails.com. - Tacoma Weekly


"Tacoma's Where Sails Meet Rails teach us the way"

The history of Tacoma is one filled with unrealized dreams and plenty of disappointment. It's a history of grand visions, and usually not-so-grand realizations. It's a history of struggle, tastes of prosperity and silver linings. It's the history of an underdog.

Where Sails Meet Rails. Before it was a band in 2010 releasing a new LP - The Economics of Love - this week, it was an idea - a place. The port that could have been king, and the railroad hub that would have been. Grand visions and not-so-grand realizations. It was Tacoma.

But let us not tie, entirely, the place to the band. Sure, through music and perspective Where Sails Meet Rails personify Tacoma's emerging creative class as much as failed railroad bets sum up Tacoma's history of what could have been - and they did choose the name, after all - but lets dissect the art before placing this band in the perspective of place.

Clean and dirty. They play together in rock music almost as well as loud and soft, and Where Sails Meet Rails - through guitarists Christian Jordan and Jake Westhoff - rely on this. When I met the entire band for coffee at the Mandolin Café last week, they told me New Frontier Lounge owner Neil Harris - whose club has played host to the band on a number of occasions, and will do so again Friday - has made a habit out of calling the band "aggressive indie rock."

It's hard to deny this classification. The atmospheric tinkering of Westhoff's clean guitar paired with the power of Jordan's often fuzzed and crunchy axemanship - and the sonic dynamic this dance creates - gives Where Sails Meet Rails a sound worth building on - for the future.

Which is exactly what Where Sails Meet Rails - which also includes bassist Adam Zack and drummer Matt Staerk - is trying to do.

Just like Tacoma. Always.

"Our goal is to create music we would like to listen to," frontman Westhoff tells me, seeming comfortable speaking for the entire band. Throughout the interview, though others will occasionally chime in, it's Westhoff that seems to run the show and do most of the talking. This fact doesn't seem to bother anyone, and Westhoff certainly appears to fit the mold of a frontman.

"This really feels new and fresh to me, and I try to divorce myself from it as much as possible," adds Zack. "I've been in other bands that I wouldn't necessarily listen to if I wasn't involved. If I had the CD, I wouldn't put it in. I listen to this. It feels new."

Indeed, all of the members of Where Sails Meet Rails told me the same thing: in one way or another, they're all excited about the possibilities this band holds, and they've all been listening - somewhat constantly - to their forthcoming release, The Economics of Love EP. A short display of exuding musicianship and pop song sensibilities, the idea behind the disc - and the band for that matter, despite Where Sails Meet Rails' relative newcomer status - appears developed. They aim to push the envelope of pop based indie rock, if not charting new territory, then finding a new pair of musical binoculars to look at the sonic landscape through.

All the while, though - and most importantly - Where Sails Meet Rails aims to continue writing songs and records people want to listen to.

Not to mention lift Tacoma up in the process - not toward a "Destiny" filled with port money or railroad profits, but toward a future full of artistic and musical blossoming in T-Town.

"We want to elevate Tacoma," Westhoff tells me.

It's a nice sentiment, and a very Tacoma one at that.

Historically speaking. - The Weekly Volcano


Discography

The Economics of Love EP (2010)

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Bio

Where Sails Meet Rails aims to push the envelope of indie rock, finding a new pair of binoculars to look at the sonic landscape through. Coalescing unyielding strength of musicianship with dynamic, steadfast vocals, the band sets its sights on combining an independent spirit with knowledge of what listeners want to hear. The four members of the band operate with perfect interdependence, with no single musician taking the spotlight away from the whole of the creation. “Fans of bands… that emphasize quality musicianship, vocals and songwriting will find all that they are looking for and more in Where Sails Meet Rails.” –The Tacoma Weekly

With the release of "The Economics of Love EP" in February 2010, they have aimed to put forth the best possible elements of Rock and Roll in new and interesting ways. The Weekly Volcano writes about the EP, “A short display of exuding musicianship and pop song sensibilities, the idea behind the disc - and the band for that matter, despite Where Sails Meet Rails' relative newcomer status - appears developed.” WSMR's recent record release show drew over one hundred people and pushed the capacity of Tacoma's The New Frontier Lounge, and the fanbase continues to grow quickly as the band performs around the Washington State area.