The Wytches were born in Peterborough, England but can be found lurking around the coasts of Brighton. Signed to Heavenly Recordings in the UK and Partisan Records in the US, the doom-laden band is made up of members, Kristian Bell, Daniel Rumsey and Gianni Honey.
The South-of-England based trio recorded debut album Annabel Dream Reader in two days with Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral fame back in 2014. This time round, rather than opt for the ease of established producers,The Wytches chose to self-record their new release Home Recordings on analogue recording gear in their home-studio The Hit Dungeon, with the recording and mixing duties handled by frontman Kristian Bell.
The first song released from Home Recordings is ‘Who Rides?’: which has been teased in a new lo-fi, mind-bending music video by the band.
‘Who Rides?’ boasts a baggy, reverberated drum intro, before a fuzzy, sludgey riff takes over. The droning, stoned-out guitars hold the pace of the song, and Kristian’s high pitched vocals join the fold with smooth precision: “Who Rides, I do, who knows it better than you.” Their dark, transatlantic sound is in some sense akin to contemporaries Diiv and Drenge and is firmly rooted in the influence of Black Sabbath and stoner-rock.
The black-and-white video begins as what appears to be some-sort of prophecy, before introducing us to a floating skeleton protagonist, who acts as The Wytches singer while they engage in all sorts of excessive debauchery together. As the video progresses, the backyard and band-practice shenanigans descend into drug and alcohol-fuelled brawls.
The sometimes-caped Skeleton pays a visit to the ‘Bongo Rock Guitar Shop’, encountering an odd, moustached shop owner – played by Kristian – to whom he ultimately meets his fateful end, by a John Lewis branded knife to the forehead.
The video showcases the more humorous dimension of The Wytches character, grounding the song in a balanced musically reality; heavy and ominous but not impeded by overt seriousness.
The rest of ‘Home Recordings’ promises a myriad of sounds that stray from the thick and oozing sonics of ‘Who Rides?’ – a song that exhibits The Wytches in their most comfortable format.
A dark flamenco flavour comes through on thrid track ‘Can’t Show How’. An eerie carnival vibe emanates on ‘Instrumental No.2 (Supernatural Mix)’, inhabiting the same world as some Arctic Monkeys b-sides like ‘Plastic Tramp’ and ‘Too Much To Ask’. Abstract noise sampling features on ‘The Ghastly Remains of Dr Ghoulstone’, while the most laid back cut is ‘The Gaging Eye’, employing piano and reversed guitars.
Home Recordings is released on Limited Cassette via Heavenly Recordings on July 8th.