How far and for how long can one sing through a curled lip? This is the mission statement of Sade Sanchez, lead singer of rock band L.A. Witch as she takes her band through a reverb-soaked tour of the post apunkalypse. On their debut, the band survive on musicality, and sheer force of personality. There is no one quite like them.
Those of you eager to ponder every lyric and piece of imagery to fall from the mouth of Sanchez (upon who’s lip surely rests an unlit cigarette) may be disappointed. Her vocals swim in distortion, almost indistinguishable from the metallic guitar licks which judder in the background like mis-firing dirt bikes. It isn’t a criticism; this is pure American machismo. It just happens to come from three women.
The Devil-may-care on ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’, the punchy track which opens the self-titled album, and lays down perfectly what to expect. Sleazy, narcotised punk rock in keeping with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or The Jesus and Mary Chain, with the black humour of Lou Reed hanging above like a guiding star.
I’d stop short of calling L.A. Witch experimental, but at the album’s best, it is a hell of a ride. ‘Drive My Car’, which we have admired before, is the best track; hedonistic, nihilistic, pugilistic and splendid nonetheless. This is a debut with charm, and a band with legs.