Live albums are dicey in the best of times; they are often simply imperfect versions of beloved songs put out to earn some more money. This album was a bit of a challenge, as I’d never heard the band until I received this promo. It turned out to be a qualified, happy surprise.
“Live In The West” is enjoyable enough while you listen to it, but chances are you won’t be able to remember a riff afterward. The songs are competent in that Hard/Classic Rock workman-like way; they hit the right notes, the choruses are in the right places and the guitar is at the right level of emotive and romping. The crowd isn’t really a factor, as we only hear them between songs.
When it’s on, “Live In The West” provides a decent listen without asking too much commitment from the listener. I hate to say it again, but there isn’t much to say about this album. Aside from maybe “Calico,” none of the songs have stuck with me after multiple listens. Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard the songs previously, but if you’re in the same boat I’d recommend trying to studio albums before this. If you’re already a fan of WILD WEST, it seems to me like they did a competent job putting everything together for your consumption and this would be worth your time. (Online September 1, 2006)