Western Education – Restless Dreams

Western Education - Restless Dreams

Western Education – Restless Dreams

The Lowell, Massachusetts-based Western Education was started by Greg Alexandropoulos (lead vocals, keyboards) in 2011.  He was joined by Georgio Broufas on guitar and backing vocals and producer Will Hunt on bass.  The line-up solidified in 2012 with the addition of drummer Mark Ragusa, who has since left the band.

Western Education released a debut self-titled EP in 2012 and quickly followed it up with another EP, The Weekend Sessions, that same year.  In 2014 the band delivered its rousing debut album, Let Your Secrets Out.  Now the group’s latest record, the lively and engaging Restless Dreams, arrives in fine style.

The members of Western Education grew up in the alt-‘90s and ‘00s and are influenced by such notables as The Killers, Bloc Party, and Arctic Monkeys, and Alexandropoulos’ dramatic vocals are akin to the emo-driven voice of Panic! At The Disco’s Brandon Urie.  Western Education blends the best bits of angular indie-rock with pop-punk, crafting sweepingly dynamic and melodic tunes that reverberate with passion and energy.

Romping, relationship-themed lead single “Skin Deep” shoots out of the gate with a plunging forward tempo electric guitar crunch and a heavily thumping drum beat.  The verses only slow down the pace a tad, still flickering with percussive frisson as Alexandropoulous declares in a clear, earnest timbre about, “Talking in circles / The radio turned low.”  The chorus sections sprint by on fleet, shining guitar lines, cymbal shimmer, and propulsive drum strikes, with Alexandropoulos revealing, “When you’re only in skin deep / I can tell what you’ve been thinking / I want him gone by morning.” Oh, snap!

Almost all of the seven songs on Restless Dreams epitomize the record’s title.  Once in a while there are calmer passages on certain tracks, but the lulls are few and far between.  The bright, upbeat sonics and longing vocals are emitted with a keen and infectious compulsion.  It’s hard to stay still when listening to this music!  The lone 100% reflective number, “Vampire Hours”, is a hymn-like effusion of glistening guitar refrains, symphonic synth washes, bell-like tings, and Alexandropoulos’ poignant, choir-boy-tiered harmonies.  Absolutely lovely.

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