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Album Review: A Light Within The Fracture by Wess Meets West

Wess Meets West release their third studio album, A Light Within The Fracture, on 6th April through Hassle Records. The band began life as the project of lead guitarist Sam Stauff, and has now grown to incorporate elements of electronica and live programming into their sound alongside their base of a defiantly optimistic strain of instrumental rock.

“I think this album represents many feelings we collectively have as a band and as individuals,” explains Stauff of the concepts behind the new record. “Be it feelings of hope, despair, joy – they’re all very visceral feelings towards life and the constant shifting that comes with it.

“One of the main themes of this album is life and death. Not just in the human sense but in nature, relationships, family, and how we handle ourselves in everyday situations. There is a struggle that we wanted to convey. We reach for hopefulness even in the darkest places. We live in extremely complicated times and sometimes the only chance I get to myself to ‘think’ is when I am listening to music. It’s a time to reflect and learn how to be better.”

For the most part A Light Within The Fracture is a pretty standard post-rock album. Sure, it falls into the less riff heavy side of the genre, but it holds no surprises. Layered and intricate guitar work is the order of the day and they do what all good instrumental post-rock acts do and create emotion the guitar melodies and atmospherics.

Early tracks ‘Direct Experience’ and ‘Skylar There’s Rot’ are the standout tracks of the album. Both have excellent guitar work and the latter hints at the introduction of programming into Wess Meets West’s sound. The problem with the rest of the album is that it just doesn’t sound that original. It’s mostly unadventurous and safe within the post-rock template. That said it’s by no means bad, just not exciting.

The delicate ‘Catacombs’ has a nice haunting atmosphere, while the electronica tinges of ‘Temporary Galaxies’ adds a different dimension and ‘Build Your Life’ inject some much-needed spark into proceedings. As 60-minute post-rock albums go, this comes in the middle of the pack, safe and unadventurous.

AD Rating 6/10

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