Dixie Witch

Dixie Witch

Dixie Witch

One Bird Two Stones

Small Stone

Stylistically, Dixie Witch is a Southern-fried Pentagram… or Nashville Pussy without the estrogen. The similarity is especially apparent in the guitar sound — dry and buzzing, with melodic bursts of soloing, though der Witch definitely favors the wah-wah pedal and makes use of a more blues-based musical vocabulary, complete with lyrics that are wayyyy over the top, all sorts of meat-and-potatoes Southern-isms, boatloads of exhortations to have a good time (live fast, go to the show, etc. etc. etc.) and often skirting uncomfortably close to unintentional Turbonegro parody. Less boogie, more doom, please?

Singer/drummer Trinidad Leal’s voice is at the halfway point between Sammy Hagar and Sabbath-era Ozzy. Pretty bombastic stuff and perfect to accompany the primitive fuzz rock pounded out by the rest of the band.

“Get Busy” is like David Lee Roth gone doom metal. “Goin South” settles into a more lumbering heaviness. Much better. “The Wheel” is a pretty decent Temple of the Dog pastiche, and totally unexpected. Redneck grunge? “On My Way” has some Melvins-y bits, but it is oddly coupled with crazily optimistic lyrics. “Making Me Crazy” has the deep, dark, down blues. Fair to middling. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” is their “Black Hole Sun” and “Astronomy Domine” rolled all up into one. It’s convenient and it shows some sign of sweeping ambition and emotional grandeur that should be encouraged at all costs. “Traveler” begins with some totally awful guitar noodling, before expanding and flowing outward into a loping road mantra that is oh so close to goodness. Frustrating.

I saw them with Suplecs a couple of years ago; neither was at their best live, y’know. But whereas Suplecs has since managed to deliver some truly wrenching vinyl, Dixie Witch is still stuck at being a decent to good, gritty club band; transient like a Friday night, not lasting.

Too bad, because Dixie Witch is a truly fabulous name for a band.

Smallstone: www.smallstone.com

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