Monday, June 02, 2014

The Witch: Black Flower Field (2014 EP)

Which Old Witch?

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

(Petite, French accent) "Whose motorcycle is this?"

"It's not a motorcycle, baby. It's a chopper." - Bruce Willis

In the law, things that may be similar are actually different and distinctions are important. The judges before whom we appear will strike down an argument with great vengeance if we are unable to distinguish our case from precedent. Opposing counsel will have furious anger against us for drawing such distinctions. But drawn they must be. Listening to the Witch's Black Flower Field EP evoked the above line from Pulp Fiction not least because the band open with another, different awesome quote from the movie. But also because I am tempted to say this sounds just like Mastodon. But distinctions I must draw . . .

First of all, sounding similar to Mastodon is a good thing. That band rules. Second, it's not easy to pull it off with the swagger with which Witch* have done here. Opener "Skeleton Curse" combines the frantic, movie quote-laced energy of Mastodon's Lifesblood EP with the crisp production, cleaner singing, and rhythmic heft of The Hunter. It's a tasty combo that is enough to distinguish Witch from being just a Mastodon cover band gone wild. Witch evoke latter day sludge saints Baroness on the second, title track. Like that band, Witch makes the song heavy and transcendent at the same time. Killer. Like escaping from a sub-urban sex fetish dungeon to the harsh light of a sunny LA afternoon. "Hellride" and "The Wizard Is Stoned" give us some Evil Dead quotes and some more rippin' Mastodon-like ripper riffs--the former up-tempo, the latter more mellow, as the titles suggest. Witch close in quasi-thrash mode but again the listener is given a pleasing balance between the early and recent Mastodon sounds, making them sound unique but familiar in the process. Give us a long play, please.

"It's Witch's chopper, baby." - Bruce Willis. "Who is Witch"? "Witch is [not] dead baby. Witch is [not] dead."

3.5 stars.

*say that ten times fast

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