West of Rome's sound is prairie-wind howl, harnessed and ground through post punk machinery. Their sweet vocal harmonies and irony-free approach recall the Topanga Canyon sounds of the early '70s--minus the Nudie suits, six shooters and Bruce Berry. Like the bastard children of Patti Smith and Neil Young, West of Rome delves deep into the American songbook and plays with images, sounds and messages both vintage and vanguard.
"There are a lot of bands trying to make this kind of music, but these guys have the right...It's in them, and it's genuine."
Jay Bennett, Producer & Songwriter
The band's first record, "Cranberry Sauce," won notice and praise from critics, musicians and fans alike. One musician who noticed was Jay Bennett. After playing a few shows together, the former Wilco avatar signed up to produce and play on West of Rome's follow-up, "Drunk Tank Decoy." With 14 new songs, West of Rome and Bennett create a sonic landscape of lush Americana in a league with J.J. Cale, The Band and The Flaming Lips. Tracked live in Bennett's basement over a chilly Chicago weekend, the music reflects both the sunny optimism of the west coast and the no bullshit reality of a Midwestern winter.
"...more Husker Du than Gram Parsons..." Performing Songwriter Magazine
West of Rome is Marc Alberts on vocals and keyboards, Andrew Beaumont on drums, Tom Cox on bass and Chris DeMay on vocals and guitars. Terminal post punks and metal heads, former trout farmer DeMay and journalist Alberts joined mutual friend and champion pinochle player Cox to form West of Rome in 1998. All three are Chicago-area natives and survivors of an earlier Midwest college indie-music scene. Beaumont, a North Dakota native and former rodeo clown, joined the band in 1999. The band spends time between recording and honing its live sound to a cutting edge by missing work, not sleeping enough, drinking and smoking, not eating well and fighting crime in all its nefarious guises.
"Hey yeah,...I've heard of those guys!" Peter Buck, REM
Check out the artist's website:
1. Breaking Glass
2. This Street
3. Let's Talk
4. Don't Believe
6. Man's Intuition
7. Mommy Daddy Baby
8. Love Adamantine
9. Half My Life
10. A Woman Who Will
11. Turning Out
12. Run Like A Child
14. New Year Kiss
15. Village Green Preservation Society