West End Motel: ‘New Wave Kid’


West End Motel is back with a new single, titled “New Wave Kid,” a wistful song that frontman Tom Cheshire calls the group’s “positive jam for dark times.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I released West End Motel’s first 7-inch via Ponce de Leon Records back in 2008; a four-song EP featuring “Oh I’m On My Way” and “There’s Gotta Be More To This Life” b/w “Under My Skin” and “Women Come and Go.”

Really, though, West End Motel is a much different band these days from what it was back then, and it has been for a good long while. In the beginning, Tom Cheshire and Brent Hinds played and recorded as a wooly and red-eyed pair of poets, songwriters, and troubadours suspended in the aspic of Atlanta when the sun goes down—a derelict version of the city that no longer exists.

Will Raines (left), Brent Hinds, and Tom Cheshire. Photo by Josh Groom.


Hinds brought to the project a lifetime of experience playing parties, house shows, and stages large and small in bands such as hardcore outfit Four Hour Fogger, spectral surf rockers Fiend Without A Face, and the almighty Mastodon. Cheshire was the Atlanta by-way-of-Queens, New York statesman of punk rock singing the Rent Boys and All Night Drug Prowling Wolves’ songs about love and brotherhood, penned on whiskey-soaked napkins.

West End Motel, however, was something different. Their weird and tender acoustic songs—as though they were discovering their sound during loose, late-night recording sessions—found both Hinds and Cheshire bearing their hearts and souls in disarmingly unguarded sentiments. The vocal and guitar melodies teemed with beauty, depression, elation, and wisdom gained from hitting rock bottom and pulling yourself back up to face the sun one more time.

Since releasing that original 7-inch, the group has released three albums, toggling between major label offshoots with 2011’s Don’t Shiver, You’re A Winner (Rocket Science Ventures) and 2012’s Only Time Can Tell (Alternative Distribution Alliance) before taking matters into their own hands and self-releasing 2017’s Bad With Names, Good With Faces. The group’s personnel has expanded as well, incorporating Hinds’ Fiend Without A Face cohorts—bass player Stiff Penalty and drummer Troy King, along with a few other players.

As the story goes, “New Wave Kid” was born when Cheshire and Ben Thrower went into Audio Oasis in Bristol, Tennessee with producer Matt Smile. Cheshire sang and Thrower crafted the song’s rhythms and melodies on an acoustic guitar. They sent the song to Jeff Bakos in Atlanta where Stiff Penalty added bass and King added drums. Will Raines added majestic keys from his home in Brooklyn. Then they sent it to West End Sound where Tom Tapley recorded Hinds and Brian Kincheloe’s guitar parts, and Ben Davis’ saxophone and bells.

The result is a sterling trip down memory lane rising from layers of lush pub rock melodies and what is, perhaps, the most evocative vocal delivery of Cheshire’s career.

“New Wave Kid” is a catchy number that’s branded with intoxicating musical motions that crystallize all of West End Motel’s influences—Pogues-esque punk and rock ‘n’ roll, The Band’s roughly-hewn stride, power pop, and blue-eyed soul—into a stylish hybrid that’s tailored to Cheshire’s husky voice, which telegraphs so much of the band’s character.

The song is part of a larger work in progress. The plan is to drop a new single at the beginning of each month for the next six months. After that, they’ll turn around the fourth proper West End Motel full-length album. In the meantime, “New Wave Kid” feels like a watershed moment for the group’s ever-growing movement from ramshackle magic to a deliberate and stylish sound and vision.

Protest & Survive! GG King, Hyena, Ladrones, and more dominate legal defense benefit comp


Colonel Records comes out of the gate strong with Protest & Survive, a friggin’ 42-track compilation of covers, rare, live, and unreleased songs that benefits ActBlue, and other legal aid organizations providing bail funds for protesters and activists who are rallying to fight police brutality.

GG King, WYMYNS PRYSYN, More, Hyena, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, Mongo, and many more Atlanta-based punk, post-punk, hardcore, and garage rock acts dominate a tracklist that also includes songs by Fletcher C. Johnson, U.S. Prisms, and the likes. Check out the full tracklist below.

The Protest & Survive comp is available via Bandcamp. It’s also pressed in a limited edition of 50 cassette tapes. Grab one before they’re gone, and support those on the frontlines, pushing for positive and lasting social change.

Tracklist:

  1. Douglas Graham: “Angela Davis”
  2. Tropical Trash” “Messenger (Wipers cover)
  3. GG King: “Melt On You”
  4. Paralyzer: “Paranoid Youth”
  5. Hyena: “Divisions”
  6. Long Knife: “No Rule” (Leather Nun cover)
  7. KPF: “Stress City”
  8. Blackout: “Eating Gas”
  9. Ryan Dino: “North Star”
  10. WYMYNS PRYSYN: “Lifeform”
  11. Neuflesh: “Coward World (Fuck 12)”
  12. Tropical Trash: “Korgüll The Exterminator” (Voivod cover)
  13. The Wilful Boys: “Muttley”
  14. Bob Mann: “Can You Come Home”
  15. Fletcher C Johnson: “Eventually”
  16. Shaken Nature: “Pony Don’t Cry”
  17. Rude Dude and the Creek Freaks: “World On Fire”
  18. Groovy Movies: “If You Wanna Go”
  19. Baby Shakes: “Down”
  20. All Night Drug Prowling Wolves: “Not Messing Around”
  21. Metalleg: “Ride Along”
  22. Mongo: “Degenerate”
  23. Paint Fumes: “Guess Who”
  24. The Schamones (feat. Members of Paralyzer and All Night Drug Prowling Wolves): “I Wanna” (live Ramones cover)
  25. Ladrones: “Remedio”
  26. Snoopy and The Who?!: “My Regeneration”
  27. Cuss: “The Cause”
  28. More: “Hourglass” (Wurve cover)
  29. Subcults: “Quarantine Dreams”
  30. Jordan Jones: “New Year’s Eve”
  31. Rikky IV: “Capable Of”
  32. Bad Moods: “New Song About An Old Ghost”
  33. Fuck Knights: “We’re All Essential”
  34. U.S.PRISMS: “State Control” (Discharge cover)
  35. Pagan Girls: “Chezron (Time Prescribes the Medicine)”
  36. Space Program: “Smoke & Flames Engulfed The Secret Hideout”
  37. A Drug Called Tradition: “Killing Game” (unreleased)
  38. Warm Deltas: “Face of the Mountain”
  39. Vow: “Endless Roads”
  40. Brother Hawk: “No Room For Rust” (Live)
  41. Thousandaire: “Thumb” (Dinosaur Jr. cover live)
  42. Ian O’Neil: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” (Chuck Berry cover)