I was sitting in the car outside my local Oporto when I first heard West Thebarton on the radio in 2015. Of course, back then they were introduced by some since-forgotten triple j presenter as “West Thebarton Brothel Party.”
Since that day, I’ve consumed many more nutritious servings of Oporto, and West Thebarton have undergone a name change, picked up a new drummer, toured relentlessly around the country, and signed to James Tidswell’s (Violent Soho) new record label Domestic La La.
On their new album Different Beings Being Different, West Thebarton focus their sound and deliver a collection of songs brimming with infectious, crunching, energy.
West Thebarton’s 2015 debut EP quickly became one of my favourite releases of that year. It was honest, brazen, and gritty.
But truthfully, when I first heard the band were changing their name, I was a little worried. Could the fact that they were cleaning up their name mean they were also cleaning up their sound?
My anxieties were immediately put to rest last year with the release of Moving Out. West Thebarton hadn’t ‘cleaned up’ their sound… they had focused it.
The band’s new album Different Beings Being Different still possesses all of the characteristics I originally fell in love with; the energy, the grit, the honesty. Though this new album has a new sense of direction.
Frontman Reverend Ray describes the albums as “real Aussie straight-from-the-gut rock.”
Ray’s signature raspy, guttural scream is showcased on opening tracks Moving Out and Basic, while Bible Camp feels soulful and evangelical.
While the album maintains the band’s penchant for creating hard-hitting pub anthems, songs like Reasons and Set It Straight offer a gentler side of the band, leaning more toward the sun-soaked pub Australiana of the eighties.
On Different Beings Being Different, West Thebarton showcase their versatility without sacrificing any of their gritty, energetic charm.
The result is an album that holds true to Reverend Ray’s initial mission statement; it’s raw, grandiose Aussie pub rock that steers clear of any clichés.
Catch West Thebarton at any of the below dates:
Thursday June 7 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
Friday June 8 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday June 9 – Cambridge Warehouse, Newcastle
Sunday June 10 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday June 22 – Badlands, Perth
Saturday June 23 – Mojos, Fremantle
Friday June 29 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday June 30 – The Gov, Adelaide
Splendour In The Grass – July 20, 21, 22nd – North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay