West of Corey New Single “Misty Mound” from the release ‘Slammed’

“Misty Mound,” a song with a Led Zeppelin-like title, is a gutsy rock single from West of Corey’s album Slammed. Although new, this rocking number will make classic rock fans’ hearts smile.

The song kicks off with an irresistible hard rock guitar riff. Much like many great AC/DC tracks, you’ll likely love this song before you even hear the first note of the vocal. It begins with nothing but riffing electric guitar for the first fifteen seconds. It’s loud. It’s fast. It’s glorious. When blustery lead vocalist Janine Taft comes in, it’s done with a hearty “Hoo-ah!” That singular syllabic entrance is like an announcement that there will be no pussyfooting here. She’s here to rock, and rock hard.

When listening to Taft sing, the first name that springs to mind – and it’s a great one – is Heart’s Ann Wilson. We sometimes forget how revolutionary Wilson was when she first started out. Her band (with sister Nancy) had a pretty serious Led Zeppelin jones going on, and that band’s vocalist, Robert Plant, was about as masculine as they came. For a woman to have such similar lung power was has surprising as it was heartening. Granted, there have been many talented female rock vocalists since then. However, Wilson was one of the first truly great one.

Taft sings this song’s lyrics with gusto and confidence. She doesn’t sound like she’s trying to keep up with the band; instead, she comes off like she’s setting the pace. The group also includes James (West) Foster on bass and vocals, as well as Corey Birkholz playing lead guitar. Birkholz is just as unrelenting while playing this song’s leads, as is Taft singing. It’s not one of those songs with a standard guitar solo; the guitar-ing on this one is all over the place, and in the most delightful way.

When it comes to the song’s guitar work, Brian May (of Queen) often comes to mind. When that band was still relatively new, he laid down some mighty raw guitar parts. One song, in particular, comes immediately to mind – “Keep Yourself Alive.” That songs dates all the way back to Queen’s debut album, which was released in 1973. So, this was long before “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and when Queen began experimenting with opera, jazz, R&B and all the other diverse musical elements they incorporated into their rock & roll soup. This riff, too, somewhat resembles the one from Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down,” which was a later song creation. People are quick to point out Freddie Mercury when talking about Queen’s sound, but May had in equally important role in helping to turn Queen into a classic rock powerhouse.


West of Corey’s “Misty Mound,” might make you a little nostalgic for the days when rock and roll was king. Perhaps, that music’s time has come and gone. West of Corey, of course, would beg to differ with such a dire assessment. This group clearly revels in the joys of creating solid, riff-y rock music. Bless their hearts for keeping this music alive. This tune is a blast of beautiful noise, and you’ll likely want to listen to it over and over again.

-Dan MacIntosh