Excessive Skipping, the debut of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist RICK WEST, is a wonderful little lofi rock record. The production perfectly captures the aesthetic of an apartment demo and creates a intriguing atmosphere where the audience has seemingly ‘happened upon’ West in rehearsal: a chance moment that cannot be recreated. West’s tunes have a knack for reproducing this feeling of authenticity even after many listens.
The strongest track is ‘Kicked Out.’ West’s voice and electric guitar are able to float above the dark lofi crunch of the rhythm section without feeling distant. The chorus, a short four bar hook, brilliantly uses rhythmic dissonance where the melody skips and hops in dotted quarter notes against the steady rock groove. However, the most mature aspect of West’s music is his arranging, exhibited by the surprising alterations he makes to the rhythm and chord progression of the second verse.
If you’re looking for a record to help you get through the last stretch of this miserable Boston winter, wrap yourself in a blanket, jump on your couch, and throw on Excessive Skipping.
Jackson Albert Mann is an activist, writer, and musician from Boston, MA. He is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Bunker Hill Community College and a Teaching Artist at Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program.