One might think it difficult to write about Los Angeles band L.A. WITCH without mentioning ouija boards, cemeteries, and maybe even The Craft. I guess I just did it, but only to say that L.A. WITCH (and certainly their self-titled debut) have as much in common with the occult as they do the kind of music that’s been done to death. (That’s Nothing, if you didn’t pick up on that).
‘L.A. WITCH’ is a fresh and exciting sound that makes you feel dirty and desperate at the same time. Like imagine you’re at some kind of roadhouse; you roll up in a truck and head inside. There are three gorgeous girls on stage with eyeliner down to their cheeks and a bartender who forgot to take her nose piercing out before she got another and the guy who Just Doesn’t Get It, swaying on the sticky, beer-soaked floor. L.A. WITCH is that band, and I fucking love it.
I love that.
I’m quite content to clutch two drinks in the corner, popping stale gum while they play the entire record through, people-watching and still wanting more.
I heard L.A. WITCH’s ‘Baby in Blue Jeans’ for the first time last week but it was an instant love-at-first-listen kind of a deal. Had Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet not yet been made with the fish tank scene, my discovery would be that, mostly cos I reckon I look like I’m one part young Leo, two parts Permanent Walk of Shame. That means that L.A. WITCH is the band who should do the soundtrack to my life and makes ‘L.A. WITCH’ — the album — a standout record in a year of stand out records.
Look, I don’t believe in being critical. That’s the difference between a music critic and a music lover. Music is an art, art is life to me, and both are subjective to the point where one (wo)man’s Lana Del Rey is another’s Kim Deal. To create an album like ‘L.A. WITCH’ and to have it be your debut full-length is a fab feat and if you’re after critiques, I could give you a list of places to get those from. I won’t, though.
Even if I did, I find it hard to find any flaws in even one song that yanks my hair and shoves my face to the ground to eat it, which ‘L.A. WITCH’ does well and it wouldn’t surprise me if their music featured in a David Lynch film. Their guitars are Dick Dale on acid and if you don’t feel like you’re on the trip of your life by the time ‘Untitled’ kicks off, I’m not sure what to tell you but I’ll give you a ring from my high.
The production on ‘L.A. WITCH’ is pretty exceptional too. Each song flows into the next in a way I try to do with every mix tape I make and yeah, that’s tape as in cassette tape, or the tape wouldn’t be there. You can listen to it through in one setting and at times realise the song has changed only when the opening riff to the next track kicks in. I’m sure they didn’t record it all live in one shot but it sounds like they did and sure could’ve.
Some of the tracks (including ‘Feel Alright’) have an air of L7 and Babes in Toyland to them. Not something I’ve heard in a while. Least of all successfully. The only way I’ve found to attempt to describe their sound is a mixture of “picture what you’d hear if Natural Born Killers had no soundtrack already” and as Suicide Squeeze said best, the sounds of a smoky, dingy bar.
Or, as I call it: a good fuckin’ time.
Stand Out Tracks: ‘Baby in Blue Jeans’, ‘Brian’, ‘Untitled’ & ‘Feel Alright’
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