Witche’s Brew – White Trash Sideshow   Leave a comment

First up take a look at that album art, this has to be one of the coolest album covers in rock history. These dirty looking gents play music that is equally as dirty in sound and musical approach but with a touch of 70’s Hard Rock class. Witche’s Brew formed when Mirko Bosco and Mirko Zonca got together, Bosco is the ex-guitar player of Disperazione while Zonca is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Italian grunge scene in the late 80’s. A live EP recorded during a tour of Austria surfaced in 2009 titled “Pentatonicspeedfreaks” and this EP quickly got the buzz going around the underground Hard Rock scene. Witche’s Brew play a 70’s style of bluesy Hard Rock that is like a drunken ZZ Top trying to play Motorhead tunes, not that Witche’s Brew are a sloppy band, they are a very tight, well-oiled machine but this is Whiskey driven bluesy rock and this is one of the best party records released in the last year. Its out on the Black Widow Records label which continues to amaze with their range of styles and quality of releases. Along with the obvious ZZ Top and Motorhead influences, there is also elements of Hawkwind, Kyuss, Black Sabbath and even Pink Floyd in small doses so this pure rocking stuff but its very different from anything released lately.

The album opener “Stone Cold Killer” kicks like a mule and combines raw melodies with aggression and every track follows that formula except for a couple of musical detours. One of those detours is “Rebel Goon Blues” a nine minute Psychedelic Blues jam, its very articulate and slightly progressive while keeping the rawness level at a peak. Apart from a couple of minor changes in style here and there, its all high energy, drunken fun. As well as the album opening track, “Leather”, “Seas Of Shame” and “Dusk Till Dawn” are solid highlights of the disc but this album contains something a little rare. That is two bonus tracks that prove to be two of the best tracks on the album, while these tracks are more of the same, they are also killer tracks that are worth buying the CD for alone (Note: these bonus cuts are not included on the vinyl version of the album). The album is full of compact, concise songs with a atmosphere closely aligned with American landscapes rather than anything Italian or European. So there is not much more to say about this, its all straight-forward Hard Rock and Roll but there is a rather strange problem with the recording that for me personally really damages the listening quality of this disc.

That problem is the vocals that are mixed so low in the recording, they are almost impossible to hear. When you do hear them its more like a mumbling in the background rather than actual lead vocals. This subdued vocal mix might be a mistake or maybe its intentional as Mirko Zonca had recently suffered from edema, whatever the reason its a shame because the dude has got a great bluesy voice but you can’t get any enjoyment out of it here. Luckily the music is kick ass so once you get used to the missing vocals, its all pretty good still. This is great party music but also a reminder that the simpler things in music are still the best. Witche’s Brew have put together a album that is raw, up-tempo mostly and is a wild ride for close to a hour if you include the killer bonus tracks. I can’t wait to hear more from the band in the future, I just hope they crank the vocals up next time. 8/10

www.myspace.com/witches.brew
Black Widow Records

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Posted August 12, 2010 by doommantia in Witche's Brew

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