Calling Mack West a “Country band” can be a little misleading, at least if you subscribe to the contemporary commercial definition.
Mack West sounds nothing like Sugarland or Kenny Chesney. While certainly possessing roots in more traditional Country, the band also isn’t your run-of-the-mill Johnny Cash-rewriters. The band calls its sound “Alt-Western,” referring to its unique sonics, which capture a Western/Southwestern vibe and haunting ambiance. The dusky, atmospheric approach has as much (if not more) in common with Western soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone and Arizona’s Southwestern Country music specialists Calexico as they do Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson. Frontman Zach Mechlem’s low croon (somewhere between Johnny Cash and Indie band The National’s singer Matt Berninger) delivers time-period lyrics about cowboys, outlaws and gunslingers, but not in a Disneyland-esque way, digging deeper into the psyche of the characters. A slew of local guests help the rhythm section of Greg Slone (drums) and Will Campbell (bass) concoct the big-sky, aural scenery. Like Morricone, these songs instantly conjure cinematic imagery and pay tribute to the Old West without resorting to tired clichés. -Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat
Zach Mechlem - acoustic guitar, vocal
Greg Slone - drums, vocal
Will Campbell – bass
Steve Wethington - electric guitar
Annette Christianson - violin