New Music Monday: Stream Westend Recording Studios’ new mixtape, Amplify KC Vol.1
Westend Recording Studios has had a hand in plenty of local music releases — notably a few from Radkey and Bummer — and now, the local studio is hoping to shed the spotlight on a few lesser-known heavy rock acts. Today, the Westend team releases a new music compilation called Westend Recording Studios Presents: Amplify KC Vol.1.
“We wanted to highlight some of the more heavy-minded musicians,” Justin Mantooth, Westend’s house engineer and the producer on the compilation, says. “I feel like the noise rock, punk rock, metal and hardcore scenes don’t get as much coverage locally, even though we have a lot of really great heavier bands — and a very diverse selection at that.”
To assemble the tracks on Amplify KC, Mantooth put out a call to have local bands submit to participate; of the 40-odd submissions, 11 bands were chosen (Bummer, Hyborian, the Runaway Songs, Sharp Weapons, 34, Walking Oceans, Doris, Bluehealer, Orphans of Doom, Keef Mountain, Leering Heathens). Each band selected got a full day to record one song with Mantooth, who then handled the mixing of each song while Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering took care of the mastering — all for free.
The goal of Amplify KC is two-fold. Mantooth hopes to highlight the production quality at Westend, emphasizing that an at-home or garage recording for a metal band isn’t optimum. He also hopes to create more visibility for the bands that made it on the compilation.
“I think people might think it’s all banging and screaming and there’s not much to the scene of heavier bands,” Mantooth says. “The other thing I’m trying to do is show the diversity in punk and heavy music. Some bands like Bummer are getting noticed, and they’re on here, but there really is a lot of talent people haven’t heard of. Most of the bands that are on the compilation are working towards finishing EPs or starting EPs or albums.”
Working with heavy music and bands, Mantooth adds, is something of a passion of his.
“We’re not stuck in this genre,” he says. “We just came out with this bluegrass record, so we’re not limited in what we do at Westend, but it is something I’m personally into and something I’d love to continue working on. With Amplify KC, I hope more bands can see and hear the advantage of a real studio and invest in themselves to put out a product that they can be proud of.”
Stream or download the compilation in its entirety here.