Review: Iron Witch – Post Vegas Blues 7″

Regular readers may recall a short piece I did on Liverpool sludge merchants Iron Witch a few weeks ago.  This was to mention their LP, ‘Single Malt’.  I also trailed the fact that there was an imminent release of  a 7″ entitled ‘Post Vegas Blues’ due out on Thirty Days of Night records; well today is that day. 

Rewind to Sunday just gone; when DeHud and I made our third excursion under the Mersey and into Liverpool of the weekend; I was up to visit and although the fabled MerseyRail ‘Sunday engineering works’ made part of the trip a mandatory bus ride, we arrived in a sweltering city under a slightly less flimsy pretext [going to see some bands] than had been the case on the Friday and Saturday [errr…to consume quite a lot of beer].

So, repairing to a couple of busy pubs and slaking our thirst with liberal applications of cold German pilsner, we anticipated seeing Iron Witch; however as we finally located the low key venue, a club known as Basement 20, we were surprised to see there was nobody about.  It was as dead as the proverbial dodo.  Oh, why hadn’t I checked Twitter before going out?  It turned out that the venue had been shut down the previous night by the new owner, and so the bands had been left venue-less.  Ach!  Never mind; we will see them soon.  And here’s the next best thing.

Technically a 2-tracker, one side [do downloads have sides?]  is actually, confusingly 2 tracks in itself – ‘Gunshot Residue/Exceed the Dose‘ which begins with a really storming, sludgy, boot in the arse mid-paced, downtuned romp in the grass [if you’ll pardon the pun].  The trademark oodles of feedback, slightly distant, desperate sounding vocals sit well in the mix, with crushing slabs of guitar and thick, slowly vibrating bass strings giving the recording a nice dirty, bottom-heavy feel.  Slight traces of good, all-out hardcore emerge later on in the track, before a slow breakdown into monstrous riffing.  This is head and shoulders above the ‘Single Malt’ outing in terms of production quality, lending the songs a real kick.

Post Vegas Blues‘ – the title track to state the bleedin’ obvious, starts with building layers of slow, doomy guitar riffs that bring to mind Brainoil or Weedeater. Powerful waves of sludge flow as the drums slap lazily, building up an unstoppable wave of power.  The listener fears being overwhelmed by the downtuned frequencies that assault their eadrums, yet curiously feels the need for more.  Like some great dinosaur writhing in its death agonies, the track picks up and again lumbers along at mid pace, bringing to mind Poison Idea at their Pig-and-Jerry angry best, with some Southern blues thrown in for good measure.

This is a cracker, and rather like our discovery of the Liverpool Pub of the Year, the Roscoe Head, it offers me some consolation for missing them live!  Get it!

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