All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Music Review: The Westminsters - The Westminsters EP

The Westminsters - The Westminsters EP
2008, Lumpy Records

The Westminsters is comprised of Martin MacDonald and anyone he happens to pull into a recording session. This Brisbane, Australia musician recorded The Westminsters EP in six days in his bedroom using ProTools and pure chutzpah. The result is a gorgeously melancholy EP that is both inspiring and smooth. The fact that it is available for free download through the band’s website is an added bonus.

Lush, lush, lush. That is the primary word that comes to mind when thinking about The Westminsters and their self-titled EP. The Westminsters offer up a brand of melancholy acoustic rock that reminds me of Jason Plumb and The Waltons. A Vest & Hat is a gorgeous musical painting in the fine brush strokes of guitar and filled out to orchestral proportions. The harmonies here will wrap you up like sunshine breaking through the clouds or the voices of angels upon a revelation. For Your Seasons has a pleasant melody that is intrinsically familiar at once. The song opens with guitar voice and the occasional accoutrement of a rinky-tink piano. For Your Seasons breaks unexpectedly 55 seconds in and returns morphed into a full band sound that is both faithful to and expansive of the opening.

How Quickly Does Your Smile Fade Away is perhaps my favorite song here (although my choice for favorite keeps changing). It's here that I most associate The Westminsters with The Waltons. The lyrics are intelligent and musical with that certain touch of melancholy that lifts them up into rarified territory. The musical arrangement as across the rest of The Westminsters EP is sublime. The EP closes with Too Many Souls, a strident calling out of a relationship in classic Americana colors. The circular melody line on this one does get a little repetitive, but the chorus soars and the playing is wonderfully vibrant.

The Westminsters come out of nowhere with four songs that firmly place their feet on the Americana map. The Westminsters EP is one of the more pleasant surprises of 2008. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from them soon.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Westminsters at, where you can download The Westminsters EP for free (including liner notes). Be sure to check out their other 2008 EP, Some Reasonable Fiction on iTunes.

No comments: