Spiritual Rez’s ‘Setting in the West’ album review

Boston’s own Spiritual Rez is a reggae-rock funkateer ensemble that delivers a hypnotic blend of edgy melodic reggae, ska, funk and rock that is both flawless and brilliant in their new offering titled Setting in the West. The album is comprised of ten harmonious tracks that defines their reggae and rock riff laden melodies with a sprinkle of pop mixed in.  While Spiritual Rez showcases their growing powers throughout the album, the likes of female songstress HIRIE, Duddy B of Dirty Heads, and Billy Kottage of Reel Big Fish share memorable moments along the way. With these hard-hitting guest appearances, the dynamics of the album shifts throughout, making for a very appealing listening experience.

Each track seems to flow into something pretty exciting. You just don’t know what to expect. To hear such stunning production and musicianship in each song is no small feat. The delicate vocals, soft synthesizers and lingering riffs will appeal to any music fan.

“We wanted to tell stories and encourage people.”

“Our last record was very politically and socially driven,” lead singer Willingham recalls of their 2014 self-produced concept album, Apocalypse Whenever, which reached #2 on the Relix/Jambands Radio Chart and #8 on the iTunes Reggae Chart. “For this album, we wanted to break away from that and write about love and things that resonate with the masses. We wanted to tell stories and encourage people. Determination has always carried us as a band. After college, we were homeless for four years, just touring nonstop, committed to never giving up.”

Spiritual Rez’s potent musical ability is most present on opening track “Sober,” “Together Always” featuring HIRIE and “Square Grouper”, where the horn section takes the lead and singer Toft weaves like a boxer through the heavy production. The slow buildup is well worth it in this track and is a knockout blow to the senses.

Preview and download Setting in the West on

Track listing

  1. Sober
  2. Red Room (feat. Duddy B)
  3. Together Always (feat. Hirie)
  4. Bad Girl (feat. Billy Kottage)
  5. Square Grouper
  6. Blue Faces
  7. Whiskey
  8. Tidal Wave
  9. Surface Tension
  10. Digital Age

Spiritual Rez “Sober” official music video

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
Release Date: October 7, 2016 • Copyright: 2016 Spiritual Rez

Share this article


Become a Patron

Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

Tour dates for Spiritual Rez

Get music updates in your inbox

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments