The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader

wytches I’ve played these guys on the podcast a couple of times already, and I’ve had the album for a while, but it seems to be one of these records where what I think of it yo-yos back and forth every time I listen to it. Sometimes I think it’s fearsomely fantastic, sometimes a bit chuggy and samey, and it doesn’t seem to depend on anything consistent I have been able to notice besides mere whim. Which I don’t like. I prefer to know what my opinions are and why I have them.

Gravedweller, for instance, has a baseline which could easily enough be straight out of Love Buzz. Get me in the right mood and I think ‘fucking brilliant, what a fantastic baseline’. The wrong mood and the similarity bugs me a little.

Generally I love the thumping intensity of this album. It’s psyche-rock (not in the way everything these days is fucking psyche-rock, this is actual psyche-rock) but it’s dark and heavy, and you just can’t really imagine them playing this at anything other than full pelt. There’s something about that heaviness which is a real gut-grabber, too. It makes you screw up your face and bunch fists and do a really aggressive pigeon-peck with your head.

I don’t mean to keep coming back to Bleach again, but there’s loads of it in here, meaning that more than a lot of the other psyche revivalists out there, but the result is that instead of just being a knock-off band with (in some cases admittedly) great tunes, these guys feel really fresh.

I fucking hate that word, particularly when used to describe new music; in fact I really hate it. But there’s life and sparkle to this which belies its relatively familiar recipe. There’s nothing new here really, and it can get a bit chuggy, so when I am in the wrong mood that bugs me a bit. But generally it’s just awesome.

I mean, as thrillingly wild songs go, the rest of the world is going to have to go some way to match Wire Frame Mattress this year. The other single Burn Out the Bruise has possibly had more radio play I think, and is a cracking song in its own right, but Mattress is just fucking great.

Again, the recipe is relatively simple – guitar, bass and drums with some pretty familiar effects pedals – but it’s all played with purpose and energy. There’s a sort of reckless abandon here which is utterly absent from pretty much any band who are described as ‘bringing back guitar music’.

Royal Blood, for example, when they hear this, should give pretty serious consideration to retiring immediately out of sheer embarrassment. Not every tune here is brilliant, but ‘guitar revival’ bands seem to all sound so leaden, whereas this is loose, brilliant fun and played with gleeful malevolence.

Also, if anyone buys one from Heavenly, which you can do here, can you please let me know where to go to validate my download code. I bought the damn thing in a shop and got a card with a code, but no clue as to where to redeem it.

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