(Suicide Squeeze Records)
Close your eyes and imagine the kind of music a witch would make. Now imagine what it would sound like if that witch was from L.A. Got it? That’s exactly what the band L.A. Witch sounds like. If you’re jamming to that sound in your head, might as well just get the album.
They might be a trio but their sound is enormous. On their self-titled debut, L.A. Witch make good use of an old psych-rock trick, copious reverb, to sound as vast and wide as the California desert. There’s some sonic similarities to other Cali garage bands like Dum Dum Girls or earlier Best Coast, but where those bands emphasize melodies, L.A. Witch are all attitude.
Sade Sanchez’s vocal parts may not exactly be hummable, but that doesn’t make them any less effective. The first words she speaks on this album are, “I’m gonna hurt my baby tonight,” and tell me you don’t believe her. While their music owes a lot to the sounds of the sixties, they’re clearly more interested in the vibe they can create with these classic sounds than in trying to recreate something.
The slow crawl of tracks like “Brian” and “Baby in Blue Jeans” sound like they could score a neo-noir or neo-western film. “Untitled” is a rockabilly homage with some great slap back on the vocals, but you wouldn’t have heard anything quite like it on Sun Records. L.A.Witch is a promising debut from a cool new band that’s got their style and sound nailed down.