Jon Othello and Elle Flores, a psychedelic garage noir duo or “deux” couple from Tresco on the Isles of Scilly, UK make up the West Wickhams. Magenta is their second EP after Consider Her Way, released in the summer of 2022. The record features five songs and runs for about fifteen minutes. However, in this short time, it delivers a solid punch.
Tresco, known as the “island of lost souls,” has subtropical vegetation, and shipwrecked figureheads, and is home to lost souls. However, they are now based out of cate to Richmond, Surrey. West Wickhams were conceived as a fictional rival gang to The Bromley Contingent. These were a section of followers of the punk legends Sex Pistols who helped popularize the fashion of the UK punk scene.
They have scores of thematic and personality influences. This includes Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, dark punk, gothic novels, and rock autobiographies in terms of literature. There are also aesthetic themes which include castles, abstract art, seasons like mist and autumn. And of course, Halloween, noir films, optical illusions, and Andy Warhol.
As per them, the colour magenta represents emotional harmony and balance on a global scale. It possesses the fervor, force, and vitality of red while being subdued by the serene, contemplative spirit of violet. It encourages empathy, tolerance, and engagement. It is a hue that evokes ebullience, joy, pleasure, and gratitude. West Wickhams, thus, have a signature emotional palette in mind with their music.
The EP begins with the first song which is Swear Above Suspicion. This is a lazy indie rock song in the style of Joy Division. It has characteristic jangly fuzzy guitars with ennuie vocals and feel. The second song is This is a Hang Up. Here from a heavier feel, we move to a more pleasing feel. This is a sweet chord progression that gives good vibes and one can listen on repeat.
Even The Heather’s Ask Why, is the third track on the record. We get a groovy disco like aura here with infinite catchiness and swerve. The fourth song is Masculin Feminin Hot Jump. Here the bass line catches attention from the inception. Jangling guitars in this song create a beautiful sonic atmosphere. The Sentinels concludes the EP on dark sombre note.
On this record, the vocals are not the primary aspect of the mix, which is a stylistic choice. It just another component among several others in the arrangement. Something My Bloody Valentine was famous for. It has the right dosage of lights licks and riffs. Guitars are mostly jangly and slightly fuzzy. This creates a signature tone and sonic feel. I feel drums being pushed higher in the mix would have been better to highlight the grooves. Every song gives a different aural vibe while in the same genre. The band’s music feels like a blend of The Cure and Joy Division. With Magenta, West Wickhams seal their unique brand gothic post punk music.