Artist: Western Star
Label: Saustex Media
Release Date: 11/20/2015
Fireball is the debut release for Baltimore’s Western Star. It was produced by Ken Bethea of the Old 97’s, a band that Western Star credits as an influence in their music. Other influences include Thin Lizzy and the Pixies, which help to shape their unique brand of classic rock and alternative country, with an added bit of garage rock flair.
This quartet is no joke. The band may have just recently formed a few years back, but frontman Max Jeffers’ roots run deep—he started his first band 12 years ago back home in Virginia. Relocating to Baltimore, the newly formed Western Star found their missing piece in drummer Bob Shade. They bonded as Western Star down in Texas by working on a ranch, driving tractors and digging a lake. This down home sensibility as well as the effort they put into their relationship as a band shows in their music.
Standout tracks include the nostalgia driven “Ghostchaser” and “For Cryin’ Out Loud.” Overall, though the vocals are strong, they are too often covered up by the instruments. They play well, so this isn’t the worst thing, but fans will want to know the lyrics and be able to sing along during their upcoming 2016 tour.
– Brenda Hillegas