West Coast Town
Built in Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A with Grammy award winning producer Dave Cobb, West Coast Town is Chris Shiflett’s third studio album. It follows the success of 2010’s Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants and 2013’s collection of honky tonk covers, All Hat and No Cattle. With a combination of both historic setting and a musical visionary at the helm, it’s hardly surprising that this feels like Shiflett’s most accomplished work to date.
The overall tone of the record is undeniably a product of its surroundings and despite being recorded in a studio setting; feels much closer to a live experience. West Coast Town confidently gallops the line between vintage country and alt rock, with lyrics that ooze a certain heartfelt authenticity. Tracks like, “The Girls Already Gone” and “I’m Still Drunk” are nostalgic and tinged with distant memories of lost love and heartache –floor stomping guitar licks propel the songs, providing the perfect unification of energy and melody to the narrative.
The albums final track, “Still Better Days” is by definition a perfect closer, as it continues the tradition of rattling the rafters, before meandering its way into the distance with a wailing guitar solo. It’s evident that Shiflett lovingly embraces a passion for country music, but he still manages to incorporate his own musical roots and characteristics. What we are left with is a great sounding and well written record by a songwriter that has well and truly stepped outside of the Foo Fighters shadow.