In 2013, Lewallen, Pagdilao, and friends set out to make a danceable sound that was slightly dark, but heavily moving. They self released 100 hand-made copies of an 8 song demo, with a dvd attached. When those sold out, the band hit the road, as a trio, with fellow dark-wave musician, D. Fuzz. After a slew of sxsw shows in Austin, and another slew up the west coast, "Verdugo" was released on tape, by Future Force Records. They pulled some funds and had the EP cut to vinyl, sold 50 from the merch booth, and haven't seen any since.
After a New York residency with post-punkers, Dignitary, now known as Some Daggers Wear Red, as well as countless Las Vegas shows, The band began experimenting with synths, darker bass tones, and another west coast tour as a 4-piece. After a botched release of their EP "Parades" the band reconfigured into it's original form, adding long-time producer Joseph Calleiro to the cast. Lyrical content became fueled by the experience as the band put together 10 new tracks mostly based on it.
On August 6th, 2018 The Electric West released No Preyers, they're first full-length as well as their first concept album to iTunes, Spotify, and other digital media outlets, along with short run records and tapes. Mispelled on purpose, the album explores the use of the word "no" and gives a middle finger to rape culture, misogyny, and toxic entities while also sprinkling in tracks with humor and meta-fictitious sci-fi. The album tops out at 34 minutes and has had several great reviews.
The Electric West is Lee Lewallen, Byron Pagdilao, and Joseph Calleiro.
"...The Electric West, on the strength of a 2015 EP (highlight: “Portland”), with a new EP out this summer with a full-length mooted for later this year, proved themselves a vital live entity this past April at the above-linked Out From The Shadows festival in, yes, Portland (though, as singer Lee specified from the OFTS stage, the song of that same name is actually about LA). Despite all that entanglement, this is a band to watch, then watch again. Stay tuned."
-Dave Cantrell, Read More at Stereo Embers Magazine April 14, 2017
"How the heck have we not heard of The Electric West until recently? For more than two years, the Los Angeles-trio have been creating ravaging post-punk music. Their latest single, “Death Birds”, should put them more firmly on the indie-rock map. This single is awesome. It combines the cathartic and dense post-punk rock of the band formerly known as Viet Cong (although they have yet to formally announce a new name) with the blistering and anthemic rock of Eagulls. With that kind of combination, greater notoriety should be around the corner for Byron (drums), Lee (vocals/bass), and Billy the Kid (guitar/vocals)."
-Ben Yung, Read More at The Revue April 7th, 2016
"New blood keeps the band pumping, and with a fresh body on the six-string, the grave-rocking post punk heralds have released a new song for 2016. "Death Birds", with its lurching rhythms and creeping feedback, comes as an early release following 100 RSVPs to their upcoming show at The Echo."
-Ryan Mo, Read More at The Deli Mag LA February 2, 2016
"Verdugo the debut EP from LA's The Electric West is a short blast of glammy, gloomy post-punk that will make you reconsider the way you perceive America's left coast and your perception of our nation's history in the process. When you think of LA, chances are you think of Hollywood, movie stars, fake tans, conspicuous consumption in non-stop sunshine. The Electric West's music, however, is like a soundtrack for LA's night time - all sleek, driving futurism and Raymond Chandler noir, painted in a seductive, sleek chrome and black pallet...."
-Read More at The Equal Ground March 13, 2015
"...Like their post-punk forefathers, the Electric West embrace political and social themes, but the new single “Portland” is about driving to Oregon. It’s a rager nonetheless — dense and loud and foreboding. Don’t wear anything but black."
-Kevin Bronson, Read More at Buzzbands.la February 9, 2015
"Portland ist ja sowas wie die heimliche Indiepop-Hauptstadt der USA (okay, neben Brooklyn/NY). The Electric West stammen aber tatsächlich aus L.A. und besingen in ihrem Lied einen Trip nach Oregon. Schöner Schrammelpop..."
-Read More at the German blog, Coast is Clear February 24, 2015