YOUNG GUN SILVER FOX – West End Coast [Japanese Edition] (first album)
YOUNG GUN SILVER FOX is the fresh, delicious band comprising the talents of two of UK’s most prolific and versatile Rock&pop music linguists: Andy Platts and Shawn Lee. The sound & style of this new project is pretty explained in the title of their debut CD “West End Coast“.
It was inevitable that Andy Platts and Shawn Lee would one day collaborate on a studio project that crystallized many of their creative strengths. Together they fuse the talents they’ve mastered in their respective careers, from Andy‘s role as frontman and co-founder of Mamas Gun to Shawn‘s numerous self-produced projects with AM and his own Ping Pong Orchestra.
Shawn Lee, the ‘silver fox’ of this combo, is originally from Kansas, but moved to London in 1995, where he recorded his infamous “Planet of the breaks” series as well as 5 volumes of “Ape Breaks”, becoming the most sampled drummer of his generation in the process.
Tracks of his band The Ping Pong Orchestra have gone on to be featured in a plethora of TV series: Lost, Desperate Housewives, CSI: Miami, and in movies like Oceans 13, The Bank Job, etc.
Well, both are expert musicians, but how resulted the first Young Gun Silver Fox effort?
Andy Platts (Young Gun) is indeed a young vocalist but grew listening classic stuff form the late 70s / early 80s, while Shawn Lee (Silver Fox) always loved the genre and played it as mast of many bands.
So, in “West End Coast” you’ll find first class West Coast AOR music inspired by classic acts such as Player, Airplay / Graydon, Keane, Bill Champlin, The Doobie Brothers, State Cows and more, with the typical sound that ruled the FM radio, but with an updated and personal vibe.
Immediately upon its first listen, “West End Coast” gratifies. With the album opener ‘You Can Feel It’, the dreamy Pacific Coast Highway cruise-controlled hustle and sunny close-knitted harmonies may immediately cause listeners to fall into a satisfying joy. Towards the back of the track, Platts raises his belting powers over the fuzzy spiced guitar, which creates one of the album’s eargasmic moments.
Then there’s ‘In My Pocket’. Endowed with Platts’ atmospheric falsetto, this synth-pickled track feels like a gorgeous, finger-snapping slice of Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. “If I can only take my baby wherever I go / Happy sky like a rainbow,” Platts sings with a transparent, happy-faced glow. It too stands at the top of the list as one of the album’s grandest highlights.
Much of the remainder of the disc spins with equally compelling moments. ‘So Bad’ channels the early days of the smooth L.A scene, the opening bars of ‘Distance Between Us’ are reminiscent of Player’s Baby Come Back, while the joyful ‘Saturday’ comes packaged with rich harmony vocals emotions.
The soulful ballad ‘Long Way Back’ closes the album with moody romantics using just enough drama to create something flowing in the guise of Lenny Williams’ Cause I Love You for the new century.
Young Gun Silver Fox’ debut “West End Coast” leaps instantly with sing-a-long gloriousness.
What’s so cool about this disc is just how effective the magical time warp back to the California lovin’, late ’70s / early ’80s FM West Coast AOR nuances really is, especially noting that the effort was pulled off at Shawn Lee’s Trans-Yank Studios in London.
The songs are splendidly produced, ringing with impressionable melodies and meaningful lyrics. Those familiar with the powerful, near-perfect debut of State Cows will definitely relate to this disc. It compliments that very same sound and artistic vision.
This is probably a one-off effort, a passion project for the combo, but for those lucky enough to bite into it, there is hope that they can force the pair to do a sequel.
VERY, Highly Recommended
P-Vine Records Japan ~ PCD-93958
01 – You Can Feel It
02 – Emilia
03 – Better
04 – Distance Between Us
05 – See Me Slumber
06 – In My Pocket
07 – So Bad
08 – Spiral
09 – Saturday
10 – Long Way Back
Andy Platts (Young Gun): lead & harmony vocals, guitar
Shawn Lee (Silver Fox): drums, bass, keyboards, vocals
and many more guests
BUY IT !