All Them Witches - ATW - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

All Them Witches - ATW

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2018-09-28
All Them Witches - ATW
All Them Witches - ATW

Whether you think naming your album after the initials of your band is low-key cool or just plain pretentious, one thing All Them Witches are not is lazy. Their fifth album in six years (with four EPs scattered between) is ATW, and it sees them honing their psych-blues rock.

‘Fishbelly 86 Onions’ is as scatterbrained as it the title sounds when it comes to lyrics, but the core of these six minutes is in the pumping, wheezing riff, with excited organs and a hammered snare drum. There is enough variation on that one riff and the playfulness between which instrument takes the lead, that it’s more interesting than you’d think.

Another track with a similar six-minute length is ‘1st vs. 2nd’, but this descends into a stoner-rock dirge just after the halfway point. It’s not necessarily a band thing, but the first three minutes hinted at a build towards something more, only for the same chugging guitar riff to be left like a running engine for the second half of the song.

Most of the songs contain a fuzzy, often bluesy riff, and ‘Harvest Feast’ features some lovely laid-back blues licks between utterances of southern melancholy. This track lasts 11 minutes, so be prepared to invest some time into these shifting tracks. They move like desert sands - you’re stood in the same place staring at the horizon and without realising it the landscape has shifted.

With only 8 tracks, you might feel you’re being short-changed, but the elongated running times of all the tracks more than make up for that. With that said, some of the tracks don’t grab you in quite the same way as others. ‘HTJC’ feels intense, but doesn’t have the same meanness running through it that ‘Diamond’ does.

‘Half-Tongue’ is reminiscent of The Raconteurs, both in terms of the blues-rock, but especially in the delivery of the vocals and the smooth melody leant to them. ‘Rob’s Dream’, on the other hand, is a hazy drift which only comes to life in the final minute or so with layered guitar bends.

All Them Witches are definitely worth the praise, putting together an album full of differing approaches to a well-trodden genre mix. Perhaps, at times, the tracks don’t feel as cohesive next to one another as they could, but there is plenty to drink in over repeated listens.

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