Western Settings - Yes It Is

Review by Shannon Shumaker

I think it’s safe to say that Western Settings’ Yes It Is is just what the punk scene needs. This album is fast paced, full of energy and soul, and catchy as hell. It’s hard not to bob your head along to the aggressive verses and melodic choruses on Yes It Is, and by the time the album is through, I’m left wishing it was summer already.

From the very first track, the energy in Yes It Is is prominent. The gang vocals and upbeat chorus in “Revhead” is more than enough to hook you, and the slower second track, “Get It, Got It,” makes you want to stay.

The bass tone in “Dying Without Children” is the first thing that really sets this track apart, but the entire song is incredibly strong. From the gorgeous vocal harmonies to the smart lyricism and awesome tempo changes, “Dying Without Children” delivers. The rest of the album just backs up the solid sound that Western Settings establish with the first few songs, too. “Kicking And Screaming,” is a more pop-punk sounding track with pretty guitar work, and overall, the song is really positive and memorable with a sound that reminds me of I Am The Avalanche. The vocal work on “Yes It Is” is some of the strongest on the album. The tone of Ricky Schmidt’s voice in “Yes It Is” is gritty and aggressive, but in the following track, “Goodbye,” it’s soothing and melodic, showcasing his versatility perfectly.

I think the coolest thing about this album is that it’s unique. While the pop-punk scene is pretty saturated right now, the punk scene seems to be in need of a resurgence, and if anyone should be leading it, it’s Western Settings, who don't fall completely into either genre. There’s a bit of the pop-punk sound in some of the choruses on Yes It Is, which make the album catchy and memorable, but it’s the gritty vocals and prominent bass tones that really set it apart and make it a great punk album. Yes It Is flows amazingly, without any songs that sound too similar to one another, but while remaining true to Western Settings’ distinct sound, and that’s what makes this album so strong.

Rating: 4.5/5

Listen to "Dying Without Children" and "Yes It Is"