Western Medication are a noisy post-punk four-piece who’ve come bursting out of Nashville, Texas and who’ll no doubt be hoping to make a big impact when they play this year’s SXSW festival. But does their debut EP ‘The Painted World’ give us solid evidence that they’ll succeed?
The EP is bookended by its two longest tracks. Titular opener ‘The Painted World’ is built on a simple, but hooky distorted guitar riff and rock solid drumming, which together with the half-shouted gang vocals make the whole thing sound a bit like Buzzcocks meets No Age. At the tail-end of the record, ’50 Ft. Dive’ lays on the fuzz and reverb to create a colossal, pop-tinged anthem – it might outstay its welcome if it were longer than three and a half minutes, but as it is, it’s excellently formed.
Indeed, Western Medication often avoid this problem entirely by simply not giving their songs time to grow stagnant. ‘Big City’ manages to compress all the good things about their sound into the space of less than a minute, and the jangly, energetic bounce of ‘Problems In DC’ doesn’t last all that much longer. There’s also a brief interlude (entitled ‘Interlude’, funnily enough) thrown in here, and while it’s not totally pointless, it does represent something of a missed opportunity – the mellow riff played on the track is pretty solid and feels like it could have been a good base for a more complete song.
Overall, ‘The Painted World’ is a brief debut, but a promising one nonetheless – if Western Medication continue to keep their songs short, sharp and to the point, then they definitely have the potential to succeed.