West Thebarton are a new punk rock band from Adelaide, Australia who pride themselves on translating their high energy live shows directly into their debut record, Different Beings Being Different. Led by their fearless and extremely charismatic singer, Reverend Ray, the six other band members mesh well with the front-man’s demand for attention right from the first track. Leading off the set is their debut single, “Moving Out,” which sets the tone early for the type of frenetic rock to expect throughout this blistering LP. My first impression of this band reminded me of two other punk rock bands such as Anti-Flag (with a more polished approach and fewer political themes) mixed with the pop sensibilities of The Explosion (mostly from their great Black Tape record).
Although there is not a ton of variety on this debut from the seven headed monsters from Australia, it’s still a ton of fun to go from track to track. Early tracks that stood out to me from the first listen were the fast-paced “Stuck on You” which could easily be the band’s go-to track for a second single and “Bible Camp” which finds Ray belting out for his followers to “be a soldier, just like Jesus told ya.” This well-placed ear worm sticks out and it’s no wonder why this band is quickly catching fire in the land down under.
The production on this record is solid throughout the album, and sounds more than ready for hitting the airwaves. The sound of the record is generally loud, but not so abrasive that it distracts from the strengths of West Thebarton: the dynamic gravel-voiced vocal command of Reverend Ray and the impressive drumming of their latest band-member, Caitlin Thomas. Thomas hits all the right beats here, and she gels perfectly in sync with the other members.
If this record has any flaws, it’s that it lacks in variety, as it was hard for me to distinguish the major differences from track to track. However, that is not to say that West Thebarton don’t know exactly what they are doing and what their strengths are. They are more than capable of commanding the attention of their audience, and if placed as an opener on a key tour or two stateside, they could really be off and running to gaining even more popularity in the next few months.
Late album standout, “Do You Believe” showcases the impressive guitar chops of their triple-headed guitar attack, all the while allowing space for Ray to build up to a fun crescendo, shouting the title of the song over and over again. I don’t know about you, but West Thebarton have made me a “believer” that there are still artists out there who haven’t forgotten to inject a whole hell lot of fun into a record.