Wess Meets West – A Light Within The Fracture

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.hasslerecords.com/
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.hasslerecords.com/Shop/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/wessmeetswest/

Band line-up:

Erick Alfisi – bass, vocals
Andy Porta – drums, vocals
Nick Robinson – guitar, vocals, programming
Sam Stauff – guitar, vocals, programming


01 Monuments 3:32
02 Direct Experience 5:45
03 Skylar There s Rot 5:21
04 Take Great Pride In Everything You Do 6:26
05 Catacombs 2:26
06 Temporary Galaxies 5:52
07 Fog Horns on The Baltic 3:34
08 A Little Bug 3:17
09 Build Your Life 5:06
10 Defiant Optimism 10:23
11 The Truth About The Wind 6:28


This band from New Haven, Connecticut, began life as the project of lead guitarist Sam Stauff, and has now grown to incorporate elements of electronica and live programming into their sound. Originally shirking vocals and lyrics to concentrate on crafting otherworldly soundscapes, over time the band has introduced sparse vocals to guide themes and boost the dynamic presence of certain songs, though they’re conspicuous in their absence on this latest offering. Since instrumental albums can be hit or miss for me, let’s see how this one fares.

Well, if you want something to listen to in the background while reading or having guests over, this is perfect since it rocks, but not too much and it has nice effects in the songs. In some places, the music has the sound of U2 with jangly guitar playing and atmospherics, and on others, they have the sound of early to a mid-’90s alternative. The playing is tight and well done, just doesn’t hold my interest as much without lyrics. I like to sing along and get more out of the song when there are lyrics, not saying that this is bad, just not something that grabbed me and held my interest too much.

I can understand why some people will truly love this and will think that I’m batty for not going wild over it, but throw this one on and live your life while it plays in the background. To me that still makes it a winner, just not as much as I would have hoped for.

Review by Rick Ecker