L.A. WITCH Facebook | Bandcamp

Los Angeles three-piece LA Witch’s initial aspirations were humble: “We never really thought we would or could release an album, we were really just finding each other and finding our sound.” But following touring non-stop for the last three-years and a slew of singles on underground labels, their eponymous debut has now arrived and a mighty little gem it is too.

The band, consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Sade Sanchez, Irita Pai on bass and Ellie English on drums, open the album with the fine, dark garage pop-noir of ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ with its “curled lip” punk vocals and reverb drenched guitar, it soon envelopes you into their fuzzy, Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” aesthetic. This is followed by ‘Brian’, which sounds like a long lost Velvet Underground B-side – all slow-moving, narcotic rhythms that hint at a more feral Hope Sandoval.

The single ‘Drive Your Car’ invokes visions of wild nights driving around dusty California, while ‘Feel Alright’, with its chugging rhythms, builds to an epic, moody, slow-burn guitar solo from Sanchez. In-fact, Sanchez, with her desert-twang, guitar surf sound, reminds me of The Cramps’ Poison Ivy, and they certainly must have rifled through much of their back catalogue for inspiration in developing their sound which fuses a cool mix of 60s Nuggets-style garage and psychedelia.

As their press release alludes to, this is not music for the masses, but music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers, and obsessive historians.  Clocking in at a lean 32-minutes, none of the songs outstay their welcome.  It’s a fine debut which bodes well for their upcoming tour culminating with an appearance at the majestic Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.

‘L.A. Witch’ is out 8th September 2017 via Suicide Squeeze Records

Jonathan Roby

Overgrown indie kid with a penchant for americana, psych and weird folk.