REVIEW: Western Settings elevate their game with ‘Old Pain’ EP

western settings review

Artist: Western Settings
Album: Old Pain
Genre: Punk, Rock
Label: La Escalera Records, Creator-Destructor Records

Fresh off the release of last year’s debut full-length, Yes It Is, San Diego’s Western Settings have released a six-track EP, called Old Pain, ahead of their upcoming U.S. tour in May. Much like the debut, Old Pain is full of punk’s finest harmonies and melodies, except that the stakes have been raised and the band has happily risen to the occasion.

The elevation in sound is partly thanks to crisper production with the aid from Tyson “Chicken” Annicharico, of San Francisco punk band Dead To Me, which makes every song sound like an anthem; even its overall themes are slightly dark.

The EP starts off with the energetic “Wonderful Multiple Episodes,” which touches on depression, followed by “The Phenomenon” and “Champion Schizo,” which describes someone who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“Swell,” the one instrumental track off the EP, provides a nice break that might have served better had it lasted a tad longer than a minute and 13 seconds. The EP’s final two tracks, being “Old Pain” and “Duncan,” deal with similar themes of imagination, reminiscing and regret and also showcase Ricky Schmidt’s vocal range well, with him even sounding like he’s crooning at one point.

Old Pain is meant to be played all day, and probably sang along to every day as well. If this EP satisfies your ears, you can catch Western Settings on tour very soon (dates below).

SCORE: 9/10

Western Settings US Tour:

5/4 San Diego, CA – The Tower Bar
5/5 Las Vegas, NV – Dive Bar
5/7 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
5/8 Laramie, WY – Cowboy Saloon
5/9 Ft Collins, CO – Surfside 7
5/10 Aberdeen, SD – Slackers
5/11 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
5/12 Madison, WI – Mr Roberts
5/13 Bloomington, IL – The Bistro
5/14 Chicago, IL – Quenchers Saloon
5/15 Pittsburgh,PA – TBA
5/16 Kalamazoo, MI – Louies Ballroom
5/17 Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar
5/18 Brooklyn, NY – Gold Sounds
5/19 Long Branch, NJ – Brighton Bar
5/20 Norfolk, VA – 37th and Zen
5/21 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Neck-Tie
5/22 Raleigh, NC – Deep South Bar
5/23 Charleston, SC – Tin Roof
5/24 Gainesville, FL – Boca Fiesta
5/25 TBA
5/26 Atlanta, GA – Star Bar
5/27 Nashville, TN – Foobar Too
5/28 New Orleans, LA – TBA
5/29 Dallas, TX – The Door
5/30 TBA
5/31 Ft Worth, TX – 1919 Hemphill
6/1 Oklahoma City, OK – 89th St Collective (formerly The Conservatory)
6/2 Flagstaff, AZ – TBA
6/3 Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Tap Room

Bianca Silva

Bianca Silva has two main passions in life: music and photography. When she's not wiring about it, you can catch her at a show with her friends or by herself. And outside the musical realm, you can find her ranting endlessly about baseball, especially the New York Mets.
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