For those of you into a harder style of European AOR, then Belgian band K West should be on your radar.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: K West
ALBUM: First Invasion
SERIAL: SKULL 8318
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Belgium
LINEUP: Dino Polizzi – vocals * Manu Gualda, Patrice Lezan De Malizard – guitars * Louis Lambrecht – keyboards * Dany Huppermans – bass * Rudy Lenners – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: A1 Running With The Night * A2 Do It Right Now * A3 Never Again * A4 Dreamer * A5 Away From You * B1 Gimme Some Lovin’ * B2 I’m Just A Loser * B3 Put You Down * B4 Bloodsuckers * B5 Heavy On My Love
For those of you into a harder style of European AOR, then Belgian band K West should be on your radar. Also known as Key West, this lot were signed to Belgium’s premier metal label of the early 80’s era – being Mausoleum.
However, they were nowhere as heavy as some of their label mates, including Acid, Crossfire and Killer (the Belgian version).
These guys sound close to Dutch band The President though without the west coast leanings. The two main guys in K West were Dino Polizzi formerly the lead singer with recently reviewed Belgians Danger and drummer Rudy Lenners, who spent a few years with The Scorpions during the mid 70’s.
I remember reading about K West in the holy bible of AOR at the time: the International Encyclopedia of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal though it took me many years to get around to listening to it.
You can tell as soon as ‘Running With The Night’ crosses your soundscape that K West deliver a good brand of 80’s AOR. An excellent scene setter with more in store. ‘Do It Right Now’ is next with strutting guitars and funky bass lines but the dynamics are lifted for the superb ‘Never Again’ which could be a working man’s version of Balance.
‘Dreamer’ is kinda tough sounding, very European, with guitars slightly heavier and interesting keyboard touches. Synth sound effects precede ‘Away From You’ which ends up being a somber ballad. The tempo is upscaled for ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ and reminds me of another song which I can’t quite place.
‘I’m Just A Loser’ apart from the pessimistic title sounds quite reasonable, check out the video below. ‘Put You Down’ is a good hybrid of guitar riffs and parking keyboards, though Rudy’s drum sound is very under mixed, as it is across much of the album.
‘Bloodsuckers’ isn’t as gruesome as the title would suggest, quite lightweight actually with a few interspersed synth parts for good measure. ‘Heavy On My Love’ finishes up as a ballad for the better part, really the band should have signed off or something with a little bit more gusto and energy rather than something lukewarm.
Despite a reasonable effort portrayed here, K West did not venture further beyond the one album. As far as I can see, ‘First Invasion’ received two CD reissues: 1994 and 2016 both by Mausoleum. Other than Lenners, none of the other personnel stood out in future ventures.
Lenners would join the Belgian band Steelover, who would release 1984’s ‘Glove Me’ but would disband in 1986. In the ‘strange but true’ files, Steelover would reform in 2016, and release a new album for Escape Music in 2022 called ‘Stainless’. Who would’ve thought?
Running With The Night
I’m Just A Loser