The Westside Daredevils have finally released their long-awaited fourth album of shimmering, sophisticated indie power pop, the follow-up to 2008’s Brave New Nothing. Unfortunately, it’s likely the last recording from the band, which is making Westside Daredevils available at the same time that they’re announcing their official break-up after more than a decade together.
“thus endeth the saga of westside daredevils,” reads a note at westsidedaredevils.bandcamp.com. “we never made a lick of money, but we self-produced 4 albums, played scores of shows, traveled all over, made lifelong friends with fans, promoters, club owners and other bands, and came out the other side of it all more or less intact with loads of stories, some of which we can even tell.
“a deep and sincere thank you to all those who have been a part, big or small, of the daredevils’ journey all these years. we hope you enjoy this last little bit of our ramshackle legacy.”
The last five years have been tough for the Daredevils. The band only played a handful of shows in that time, and went through a series of drummers before guitarist Gray Comer settled behind the kit and John T. Baker (Econopop, Stolen Sheep) replaced Comer as one of the band’s three guitarists. The move was supposed to be the start of a new period of productivity, but real life kept getting in the way of WSDD’s rock ’n’ roll dreams.
“In the progress of recording what turned out to be our final album, about three-quarters of the way through recording it, we all came to the conclusion that the fire wasn’t there anymore,” Comer says. “We were just tapped out in terms of time and energy. As people get older and priorities change, it’s harder to get five people in the same place at the same time.”
Comer and Baker will continue to play together in Stolen Sheep, and guitarist Jeff Caudill plays with the French. Guitarist Brett Cassidy and bassist Brandon Smith don’t have any current musical projects, but Comer says he expects they’ll find some soon.
The band will play a farewell show at Pilot Light in September.