REVIEW – ALL THEM WITCHES
All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War (New West Records)
Genre – Psych rock
‘Sleeping through the war…. That’s what we’re doing. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and were just staring at our phones, and we don’t see it so we don’t care.’
After three European tours in 2016 alone, including a run of sold out UK shows, All Them Witches’ have managed to transfer the buzz of their live shows onto record. The fuzzy, overdubbed sound takes the heavier, scuzzier work of The Doors, mixes it with Lou Reed and takes you on a supersonic journey of psychedelic blues rock that will have you transfixed.
Bulls, the album’s opener eases you in with a slow hazy start that will lure you into a false sense of security. It could be two songs in one with its six minute plus duration. The first half is not overly psychedelic, but more of a unique strain of soft rock with relaxed vocals that are harmonised by female backing singers, and shrouded in droning guitars and a steady drum beat.
The second half of the track sees a flurry of guitars take over in a shoegazing style with real intent and purpose. This heavier approach sets the tone for the rest of the record, where classic rock guitars and a strong electric focus takes shape.
Don’t Bring Me The Coffee is were All Them Witches bring their eclecticism to the table. Taking on a spoken word approach, it opens with the brilliant lyric of ‘ain’t nobody going to tell me how to run my town,’ before the electric guitars kick in with venomous solos littering this brilliantly raw track, that captures the scuzzy feel of their live performances.
Bruce Lee continues with the faster sounds that suck you into the depth of the sounds on offer. This track is filled with layers and on first listen sounds fairly simple, but with each listen you hear something new. Fast electric guitars take focus, but if you listen closer, there is much more going on, like two contrasting melodies fused together to create a warm, unique sound that resonates in the more simple way, despite its fascinating complexities.
3-5-7 sees things slow down again, with Charles Michael Perks dreary, spoken vocals narrating the journey with soft guitars, overlaid with short periods of feedback that add to the psychedelic vibes of the album. This slower vibes runs through to Alabaster and Guess I’ll Go Live On The Internet, where Perks vocals once again take centre stage. These tracks are packed with Lou Reed style goodness, especially the latter, which draws remarkable resemblance to Christmas In February with its spoken word, drawn out vocals and simple lyrics.
Sleeping Through The War may only be an eight track album, due to their sound engineer Eddie Sear’s love of short albums, but eight tracks is the perfect amount on this occasion.
RUSHONROCK RATED 9/10 A wonderfully weird concept album packed with manic eclecticism