Following up on last year’s “Yes It Is”, San Diego’s Western Settings are back with the “Old Pain” EP. It comes with six new songs produced by Dead To Me’s Chicken and well, it sounds friggin’ awesome.
Opening track “Wonderful Multiple Episodes” is a song Hot Water Music didn’t get round to writing, and segues perfectly into the equally hook-y, energetic “The Phenomenon”. These songs have everything you could ask for in a punk rock song… energy, gruff yet melodic vocals and amazing guitar leads. “Champion Schizo” is up next and while it starts off slower, it eventually works its way up to full blast with all the bells and whistles slapped on it. Not actual bells and whistles. I don’t think that would work.
“Swells” is a short instrumental, the kind of song that doesn’t do much on its own, but which somehow helps tie everything together here. The title track is up next and rates pretty high on the scale of Iron Chic… always a good thing. And rounding out “Old Pain” is “Duncan”, which comes with another one of those guitar leads that gets you about two seconds in along with another memorable chorus.
I liked “Yes It Is”, but Western Settings’ latest release blows that one clear out of the water. Not only does it come with way better production, Western Settings also lifted their songwriting skills to the next level. If you’re into the likes of Hot Water Music, Iron Chic and Red City Radio, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t pick up a copy of “Old Pain”. These dudes absolutely nailed it.