Westend Recording Presents: Amplify KC

We talk a lot about how vibrant Kansas City’s music scene, and it certainly is. As a city, our scenes are deep and varied. Between bars (and even between shows), you can hear hip hop metal, indie pop, punk, folk, country, jazz, and any off-shoot/hybrid genre you can think of. We have a number of labels and organizations that help musicians get their music out there. All of this works together to create a music scene that we can be proud of.

That said, we rarely talk about a key part to the music scene: studios. Without these studios and their personnel, even the most talented musicians would be confined to their live shows–an impossibility for a working musician and for their working fans. One of those studios, Westend Recording, put together a compilation of heavy music.

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This is on the compilation.

Seeing a need to highlight the harder side of Kansas City, Westend Recording put out a call for heavy minded musicians to send demos in. Narrowing it down to the 11 best, Westend Recording set out to make a compilation of the heaviest music in Kansas City by giving these bands a full day to record, mixing and mastering services free of charge (a godsend for any emerging musician).

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So is this.

The result is Amplify KC Vol. 1–a tour de force of heaviness and a production quality. Because all the songs were mixed and mastered in at the same place (and because they all hover within the same genre spectrum), the compilation is as cohesive a listen as a full album, which is something of a miracle when it comes to compilations.

But enough about the making of. Amplify KC Vol. 1 features: BUMMER, Sharp Weapons, Orphans of Doom, Keef Mountain, Leering Heathens, and many others. Whether you’re a fan of skeetering blues-tinged metal or pummeling darkness, doom or proggy metal, you’ll find something on this compilation.

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This too will be on the compilation.

Hyborian starts the compilation right with an epic Baroness meets Mastodon track. The gritty guitars create a march into their eventual solo explosion while the vocals slowly increase their urgency. Hyborian’s song “Head and The Sword” successfully straddles the line between visceral pummeling and epic otherworldliness.

Doris takes another approach. Shrill and droning, the band puts a more melancholy take on the compilation. Their song “Fill The Void” is a ballad of such massiveness that it seems to spill over, coloring the tracks that come after it–which is not a bad thing to have a song do on an album or compilation.

34′s song “Brimstone Cowboy” is grimy and heavy. Much in the vein of bands like The Acacia Strain or Born of Osiris. Perhaps the heaviest track (which is hard to tell), “Brimstone Cowboy” doesn’t let its distorted grime muck up the incendiary solos that bring the song to its end.

Westend Recording has put together as close to a perfect compilation as humanly possible. Amplify KC Vol. 1 will be available as a free download today. Check it out–it has some of the hardest bands in the area today recorded at one of the best studios in Kansas City.

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