L.A. Witch - L.A. Witch

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2017-09-08

When three young enchanting ladies (Sade, Irita, and Ellie) step up, with a band name like they have (L.A. Witch), it could conjure up several images and impressions as to the sound they will have. Well, these three have chosen to stir up a murky concoction of sixties garage/psych rock, with a few pinches of shoegaze and early 90's Riot Grrrl alternative rock, for their nine track self-titled full-length album. They had released a small three-track recording in 2014, of which two tracks feature on this release. 

The band throws quite a lot of classic melodies, dynamics, and rhythms together from garage rock standards in their reverb-drenched songs, which also step into psych rock waters as well, however; these ladies add a bleaker shade to the overall picture. A familiar tambourine beat and bass-line count in, fresh twangy guitar, alongside even toms, to create some sort of skip-step groove in the lurking Tarantino-flavored opener "Kill My Baby Tonight." Sade's vocals have an inebriated sassy demeanour, entwined with an underlying surety.

An easy feel and slightly brighter groove are found on "Brian," which has a Brian Jonestown Massacre/Tess Parks style riff, but is unfortunately short lived, whilst the following skippy beat mover holds a dark country Johnny Cash depth, with Sade coming across a tad Stevie Nicks. The mid-paced bluesy driver "You Love Nothing" has a L7 edginess, moving to a 6/8 time grinding bass-line and drum ending. Full of biting guitar locked in a catchy riff, solid bass, and drums, comes one of the standout tracks, "Drive Your Car," bringing to mind Courtney Love's Hole's early years, with a shoegaze dressing. 

There appears some more brightness through the hypnotic "Baby In Blue Jeans," chiming guitars wrap around Sade's whiny vocals, over a laid-back BJM style groove. Starting in a -time trudge before picking up a faster jam, "Feel Alright" features some warm organ tones that sit quite well within the layers. A brash stomper "Good Guys" sees a more voluminous vocal delivery that lifts the energy level a bit higher than the other tracks, and closer "Get Lost" features fuzzed out riffage hemmed in by icy guitars and a steady drum pattern, eventually slowing the album to a halt.

LA Witch have coupled previous songs to this album to weave a sonically-mixed tapestry of dark undergrowth, with intermittent rays of sunlight. If their live act is as sensually drawing as this recording, then we better head on down firsthand for a few more helpings of their potent brew.

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