On their ninth studio project, these San Diego-based alt-rockers continue to smolder like the long-burning embers of a beachside campfire. In a sea of impulsive young artists screaming for attention, it's so nice to come across veteran musicians who are content to get their message across without resorting to maximum volume. Fading West is the result of a two-year journey (also chronicled in a film and EP), and it was time well spent. As the band says in "Who We Are," "we were just kids." Now, 17 years into their career, Switchfoot is all grown up and they're better than ever.