West Indian Girl – 4th & Wall
Record Label: Milan Records
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Taking their name from an intense strain of LSD, West Indian Girl create sonic apparitions that pull together intoxicating synth-textured psychedelics, tribal beating rhythms, kaleidoscopic guitar patterns, and uplifting vocals as they loosely interweave into imaginary trips. The band’s recent album 4th & Wall (a title taken from the corner in Los Angeles where the band’s recording studio, West Indian Girl Studios is located) on Milan Records is artful pop with the objective of taking the listener to an illustrious kingdom of opulent synth-toned palisades, sinewy channels, and glistening vocal harmonies. The band’s finesse for ethereal melodics has similarities to The Polyphonic Spree, The One Am Radio and Pink Floyd while managing a separate identify from these artists. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, West Indian Girl put together an irresistible package of music that tempts the listener like the beckoning calls of the ocean tides along the Pacific coast.
Opening with the Indian accented ambient-pop melody “To Die in LA,” the band produces shimmering sonic splashes along the plumb drum rolls while “Blue Wave” offers an upbeat So-Cal tempo with gyrating guitar spins and rotating rhythms that are intrinsically soul-liberating. It is noticeable that the band plans out every detail of each sprigging note, emphasized pattern, and stirring entanglement expressly for the good of the grand scheme. The orchestral string arrangements on “Sofia” and “Solar Eyes” provide an ethereal lift with complementing harmonies as the country-tinted acoustic guitars on “All My Friends” and “Back to Me” meld into the penetrating soft-pop psychedelics with fancy-free winding swirls. The space-age synth effects on “Indian Ocean” serenely cauterize the vocal arcs which erect rippling, rolling mounds along the progressions as the plea in the lyrics allude to a thriving desperation that calls out, “This is our last chance to make it right.”
The album moves into an Asian-toned lisp in “Up the Coast” excited by intervals of cheery trumpet spurts and calypso-swaying steel drums. The melodic hooks are distinct and immediately likeable as the music amasses layers of instrumentation and sonic elevations like on “Get Up” and “Lost Children.” The club beats on these tracks are enhanced by handclaps and funky synth effects comparable to Fischerspooner. The album turns dark and shady on “Rise From the Dead” with murky synth projectiles and indignant guitar riffs that spike through the zombie-like repetitions. The song ends abruptly and then attaches an addendum emoting prismatic synths and angelically hued vocals.
West Indian Girl’s second release 4th & Wall shows greater possibilities than their self-titled debut album from 2004, which had songs featured in TV shows like CBS’s The Unit and the WB’s One Tree Hill. Frontman and executive producer of the album Robert James tells in a press release, “Playing music within a group can be very cathartic. This band is the closest thing to religion in our lives. Not that I believe in any form of religion, in fact, it’s probably the cause of a lot of human dissension and destruction. I’m talking about religion in its purest form - being spiritually connected to yourself and something greater.” True to his word, West Indian Girl accomplish this mission in 4th & Wall.