Boston’s Westbound Train are back with an all new album following their impressive 2006 debut Transitions. This time the seven man crew completely outdo themselves in every way possible with Come And Get It. The album was once again released on Hellcat Records and proves to be one of my favorite releases to date this year hands down.
Think ska music infused with jazz, reggae, and heavy doses of R&B and you have the perfect blend of what Westbound Train specializes in. Not to be compared with Motown, although close at times, the band remains a ska act throughout this release but keeps a soulful attitude.
I had the pleasure of reviewing the band’s last CD a while back and was impressed with every moment of it. This time I am back to that same level of excitement with Come And Get It. I must say that I am pretty sure that this CD will be my soundtrack for this summer hands down.
As soon as the CD started with “I Don’t Belong Here” lead singer Obi Fernandez’s voice seems to sooth the soul and set the mood. With horns, a groovy rhythm, and even some background harmony the song immediately put me in the most relaxed of states as the song reminisces about the good times. Almost reminding me of a Smokey Robinson song, “Ain’t Gonna Be Easy”, was a full forced R&B track sure to please any listener one way or another.
“Why You Cry” was an amazing ska soul track with ear catching singing thanks to King Django and also amazing tenor saxophone solos. “Come And Get It” featured some sick organ playing throughout the song with even more impressive singing.
“What You Need” was one of the more diverse tracks on the CD thanks to The Sweet Divines adding their classy soulful backup singing. If that was not good enough they return on “So Many Things A Man Can Say”, one of the albums more Motown inspired songs. If there is any track on this CD that proves this band has soul, this is the track.
“Critical Ska” was just that; a fine instrumental ska track from start to finish with an array of guitar, piano, and sax solos perfect for playing in the background of any outdoor party. “Cheers! The World’s Almost Over” ended the CD but not without leaving a good feeling.
Westbound Train is a ska band that has some serious soul playing abilities and Come And Get It proves it. I’m not saying this album is pure Motown but I am saying this comes very close and Westbound Train does it well. Fans of The Slackers, The Pietasters, and just good soulful music will enjoy this CD over and over as did I. Look for the band this summer at the 2009 Van’s Warped Tour.
In the event that you have not heard these guys it is only right for me to post some videos of material from their previous releases: