The Wytches - Annabel Dream Reader - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Wytches - Annabel Dream Reader

by Jim Harris Rating:7.5 Release Date:2014-08-25

The Wytches have arrived on scuzz-guitar broomsticks and put together a strong first collection with Annabel Dream Reader. This three-piece band, hailing from Brighton via Peterborough, rock it out with wicked noise progressions in the vein of Jesus LIzard and the like, but there is a little extra attention to the songs, which doesn’t hurt the execution here a bit.

The straightforward drumming of Gianni Honey and the bassist Daniel Rumsey provides minimal but attitude-filled rhythm, not entirely dissimilar to Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds or Chain and the Gang, giving singer/guitarist Kristian Bell just the right musical framework to blister, yell, grate, and scream his way through it all, all the while ripping and tearing his guitar through this vocal malaise. And it works well.

From the opening, rumbling ‘Digsaw’, which sounds like some Halloween horror show soundtrack, on through such strong cuts as ‘Gravedweller’, ‘Fragile Male for Sale’, and ‘Wire Frame Mattress’, The Wytches blister and burn. Kristian Bell has one interestingly different voice. I’m not overly fond of screaming, but he uses it with wonderful, complimentary effect when he does. Mr Bell is also the only one who ever reminded me of Steve Marriott of Humble Pie (one of Keith Richards favorite all-time singers, by the way), with his vocal-chord tearing and such.

The only occasional breakdown the band has is when they take themselves a little too seriously and get too deliberate with their dark mystic lyrics, which they try to match with faux-ominous pacing as on ‘Wild at Midnight’. Their lyrics and music for that matter, are more campy than creepy, really, and when they try to scare it conjures up a graveyard full of cheerleaders sitting around smoking vapor cigarettes and bitching about how long it’s taking to get their new neon Charles Manson sweaters since they couldn’t use Amazon Prime. But The Wytches are a solid new outfit worth listening to and going to see. Annabel Dream Reader should do well.

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