More about: LA Witch
Galloping, defiant desert psych-rock to boost your spirits
“Saying ‘just fuck it’”. That’s the ethos behind 'I Wanna Lose', the follow-up to L.A. Witch’s 2017 self-titled debut. They’re still dusted, psyched-out desert rockers, but with their newest offering, the L.A. born trio strike right at the heart. Where before they were a strong new live band on the California circuit, now they add a new and universal dimension to their songwriting: emotional power.
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From the off, L.A. Witch have “too much to do and not enough time”. ‘Fire Starter’ blasts out of the gates with a heavy Queens of the Stone Age tread and the vibrating heat haze of Sade Sanchez’s electric guitar. It’s an adrenaline-pumper with dirt on its face: L.A. Witch have come through some shit and are surer than they’ve ever been before.
Confidence rattles through the spine of Play With Fire, unyielding in the determined onwards march of Ellie English’s drumming and Irita Pai’s bass-playing; Sanchez’s haunted call the ever-burning flame that twinkles through the grime and desert sand. Lead single ‘I Wanna Lose’ was a good place to start: as a statement of absolute determination, it acts as a white-hot centrepiece from which the flames of the album lick out. “I control myself, nobody else” the band sing over spaghetti guitars, almost cocky in their hard-won confidence.
And yet Play With Fire does toe the line between cockiness and vulnerability. It understands the struggle and has momentarily transcended it; feels the pain yet pushes through. Nowhere is this clearer than on ‘Dark Horse’: here, a tentative growl gives way to moments of resolution, before dropping back into contemplation. It’s a resolution that reaches a fever pitch on ‘Sexorexia’ and its kickback against deadweight relationships. ‘Maybe the Weather’ offers an emotional psych interpretation of This Too Shall Pass.
Faster, more focused and cogent in its journey through wounding anger and determined resolution, fans will glean plenty of emotional strength from this album's supernatural yet all too real journey. Combining potently with distorted rock'n'roll, Play With Fire is a powerful sonic representation of a hard fought emotional battle. One that’ll bruise you up - but one that you’ll win.
Play With Fire is released on 21 August 2020 via Suicide Squeeze.
More about: LA Witch