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The Wytches: Annabel Dream Reader

The Wytches, Annabel Dream Reader, Partisan RecordsThe Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader

Release Date: Aug. 25
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Spec Recs: “Wire Frame Mattress,“ “Part Time Model,“ “Track 13”
In One Word: Foreboding

The Wytches debut album, Annabel Dream Reader, elicits an amazing psychedelic-grunge sound that will strike you deep in the core of your soul. The Brighton-based group is releasing this amazing first album on Partisan Records. It ranges at times from the darkest, demonic rockabilly to a feverish acid dream of Arabian Nights. With a bassist that imparts a strong Black Sabbath sound; Nirvana to Jack White thick guitar work; and a haunting, tortured vocalist, the overall sound of the album weighs down on the listener, like a black cloud.

From the beginning of the album with the opening track, “Digsaw,” we get a sense of the experience this band will be bringing as a whole. There is a haunting melody that will persist in a listener’s mind after the song has ended. The transitions between tracks are superb, forming a more cohesive listening experience as a whole, wherein it becomes easy to lose track of which song is currently playing.

Songs such as “Gravedweller,” “Burn Out The Bruise,” and “Wire Frame Mattress” establish the impending doom that this album brings, with dark and sinister rockabilly sounds that are less danceable and instead more brooding. The ominous and eerie feelings that the tracks on this album impart on the listener take place in a way that is similar to the delivery of despair and madness in the Cthulhu Mythos. This power to crush the audience with anguish in an almost imperceptible manner makes it feel as if one of the tracks should be used in a scene of HBO’s True Detective.

The album is not overly loaded with loud and aggressive songs. Instead, The Wytches produced some slower paced, and even acoustic-inspired tracks that help secure the ebb and flow of the album, without losing that doomed and hopeless sound. “Weights and Ties,” “Summer Again,” and especially “Track 13” do this in such a calculated manner that they are poised to become the most haunting tracks on the record.

Annabel Dream Reader is an amazing debut album from the new band, which has a sound reminiscent of the Black Angels and a message that grunge and darker psychedelia aren’t dead yet. The immense power and presence of the group’s live performances is captured beautifully in this record, and if this is a sign of what is to come in the future, then we can hopefully expect a string of successful albums.

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