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Chris Shiflett – West Coast Town album review

The Foo Fighters guitarist delivers a collection of feel-good songs.

Chris Shiflett
Credit: Brantley Gutierrez

Credit: SideOneDummy Records

Chris Shiflett is perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Foo Fighters. He’s been part of the band since 1999 but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his own projects outside the band. He’s part of punk band Jackson United, covers band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and he’s released country records under Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants and his own name. Following on from his solo country record All Hats and No Cattle, Shiflett recently released new album West Coast Town.

Having already established himself a musical chameleon, Shiflett continues to explore his love of alt-Country on West Coast Town. Working with producer Dave Cobb, Shiflett has written or co-written every track on the album. Lead single, and title track, West Coast Town is an uptempo toe-tapper of a track where Shiflett sings about where he grew up. The song’s lyrics are bold and the melody is catchy making it the perfect choice for a single.

West Coast Town opens with Sticks & Stones, a song that features a rock edge. It’s an uptempo start to an album that is geared towards letting your hair down and having a good time. There’s no attempt here to pander to contemporary country and Shiflett delivers a perfect blend of traditional country and Americana. The striking guitar riffs of Goodnight Little Rock embrace outlaw country that Waylon Jennings would be proud of and the song is one of the early standouts on the record.

Drinking is one of the themes on the record, and of course it’s a staple topic for the genre. Room 102 finds Shiflett recovering from a heavy night of drinking after hooking up with a woman who’s in a relationship with another man while I’m Still Drunk is a tale of numbing yourself with booze to deal with feeling lovesick.

Elsewhere on the record the uptempo Cherry is a bright and breezy two and a half minutes that’ll make you want to get up and dance, the optimistic Still Better Days is driven by intricate guitar riffs and Tonight’s Not Over captures that feeling of wanting to extend the party into the small hours.

With West Coast Town Chris Shiflett continues to solidify his place in country music. Whilst his lyrics may stick to well worn topics for the genre, he elevates the material with his vocals and his guitar skills. Perhaps what the album is missing is a bit of depth but you can’t deny that the 10 tracks here are catchy as hell. Sometimes music is just about having a good time and that’s certainly what Shiflett gives you with West Coast Town.

 

Track List: 1. Sticks & Stones 2. West Coast Town 3. Goodnight Little Rock 4. Room 102 5. The Girl’s Already Gone 6. Blow Out the Candles 7. I’m Still Drunk 8. Cherry 9. Tonight’s Not Over 10. Still Better Days Record Label: SideOneDummy Records Release Date: 14th April 2017

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