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Friday, 13 July 2012

Record Review - The Witches Drum

Future Kings of an Empty Throne

Levitation Records CD / download

‘Subtlety? I got subtlety blowing out my ass’ said one oafish American comic whose name escapes me. It’s a phrase that could certainly be applied to new Cardiff band, The Witches Drum, who have just released their debut EP of bruising swampy stoner rock.

The four tracks here have a lot to recommend them but you’ll have to get past the gruff, billowing vocals first, which will certainly put off listeners with more delicate sensibilities. Their material, despite some occasional lyrical clunkers, is consistently strong with memorable riffs and a dark bayou atmosphere that recalls Dr. John or elements of Captain Beefheart.

The band is certainly not the finished article but there’s more enough quality on this EP to merit further attention. Just check out the way ‘Watch the Freaks Lose It’ breaks down into a long hypnotic psychedelic quagmire before building back into the monster chorus. The band are clearly inspiring zeal with this approach, especially when aligned to their raucous live show. Be the first in your town to join their cult.

Austin Matthews

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