ALBUM: L.A. Witch – ‘L.A. Witch’

The Los Angelina’s gaze is what catches the attention when passing by the poster. It’s the sultry, somewhat narcotised glint in Sade Sanchez’s eye that turns the head and makes you listen to this record – LA Witch eponymously titled debut; a record that sounds the way you would hope a record made by three West Coast women would sound.

Opening with ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ (perhaps don’t let Linda Kasabian hear this one), the tricky, genderless voice of Sanchez rides above a music of honest pedigree, hints of Urge Overkill and Little Barrie plain to hear, the trio displaying a deeply felt understanding of the genre. This is blues rock dipped in psych and not aiming to be associated with any particular distant decade, the reverb of ‘Brian’ helping make a surly groove even surlier.

This is music pleasingly bereft of a post-Hillary attitudinisation, the authenticity of the band’s intent evident on the tracks ‘Untitled’ and ‘You Love Nothing’, a song that even the Fresno chapter of the Hell’s Angels would approve of.

‘Drive Your Car’ and ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’ could have bean stitched into a David Lynch soundtrack, the latter song in particular perhaps playing loud and long as the camera zooms into Laura Dern’s face.

It’s an album of pure Americana, the pop references innumerable, but the overall taste just right. The album shifts gears with ‘Good Guys’ as the trio bare their wrist sinews, the tune seemingly penned on the phial-strewn floor of a Chateau Marmont bungalow.

These ladies know their oeuvre and play upon it very well, the final track, ‘Get Lost’, a deftly lineated studio cacophony. And then the album ends and Sanchez bores through you with that don’t care stare. Only she does, and very much, and if this record is anything to go by one might do well to get down to a gig where perfumed sweat will fly.

L.A Witch, the eponymous debut album, is out 8 September via Suicide Squeeze Records. And you can catch the band live next month:

18/9 – The Crofters Right, Bristol UK
19/9 – Sticky Mikes, Brighton UK
20/9 – Moth Club, London UK
21/9 – Mono, Glasgow UK
22/9 – Psych Festival, Liverpool UK


Jason Holmes