September 24, 2018 All Them Witches – ATW (Album Review)
Genre-defying is a term often thrown around in reference to bands whose sound cannot easily be pinned down to something as simple as Rock. Not all bands are deserving of that, but Nashville band All Them Witches really do skirt typical labels. Self-described as Desert Rock, that term is probably the closest one can get to filing away the band’s latest LP set to release on Friday, September 28, 2018 via New West Records.
Simply titled ATW, it is easy enough to picture these eight tracks playing against a backdrop of bones, dust, and tumbleweeds (that is a compliment, by the way). Though All Them Witches only formed in 2012, ATW is already the band’s fifth LP. Following up 2017’s killer Sleeping Through The War, and EP released earlier this year, the insanely prolific All Them Witches are adding another brick to the already-solid foundation of their Psychedelic/Blues/Rock sound.
ATW starts off on what is possibly its strongest note with opener “Fishbelly 86 Onions.” The highest energy track on the album, and also the catchiest, this track kicks off the album with fuzzed-out guitars and some far-away isolated vocals. Crashing drums and a killer Blues Rock beat keep “Fishbelly 86 Onions” strong from start to its wailing finish. Leaning heavily into the Blues side of their sound with “Workhorse,” the band crafts a dark homage to their Nashville influences. The track is subdued to start, allowing Vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr. to let his silky voice take the lead, until the echoing guitars build up to an explosive finish.
Sprinkling in some solid Rock throughout ATW on tracks like “1st vs 2nd,” which closes out with a sludgy guitar riff that pulls some inspiration from Metal and Hardcore, it still does not feel out of place on the album even as this track fades into the bright, twanging Blues melody of “Half-Tongue.” Despite “Half-Tongue” being among the most subdued tracks on the album, it is brilliantly infused with soul and once puts the emphasis on an excellent vocal performance from Parks.
With “Diamond,” All Them Witches prove they are masters of slow burns as dark chugging riffs evolve into fuzzy solos, while in the ten-plus minute “Harvest Feast,” the band favors a mix of of haze and dreamy, clean guitars, letting the spotlight fall on the stellar musicianship. With the Hendrix-inspired closer “Rob’s Dream,” the band finish out the album by displaying once again that their sound encompasses a little bit of everything.
Though ATW is only comprised of eight tracks, it clocks in at an enormous fifty plus minutes. Even so, there are few that feel too drawn out. All Them Witches manage to make each track feel meaningful. There is very little filler or wasted time, which is quite a feat when the majority of these tracks sail past the five-minute mark. Drawing deep from their Nashville roots, All Them Witches weave together a wealth of musical influences to create their signature sound, which they are now exploring and expanding upon in ATW. For a band so prolific, it is impressive that All Them Witches manage to keep putting out quality releases. For these reasons, CrypticRock Gives ATW 4 out of 5 stars.