A baritone guitar is one that has a larger body, longer scale length and is reinforced with strong interior bracing thus allowing it to be tuned to a lower pitch. Why are we telling you this you may ask, well because Zachary Fisher the guitarist/vocalist who provides the riffs, licks and solos for Los Angeles duo Jurassic Witch, who are the subject of this review, wields such a beast.and the tone of his baritone guitar is an intrinsic component in the bands sound. Fisher along with drummer/percussionist Scott Urian jam a groove that is raw, heavy and drenched in so much fuzz and distortion that at times it almost becomes white noise, albeit a structured white noise, something that can be witnessed by giving the bands very noisy and very structured debut release " Black Masses and Ashes" a spin.
Desert Psychlist is not sure why but rock duo's, consisting of just guitar and drums, always seem to gravitate towards a blues based dynamic, of course there are exceptions but on the whole blues seems very much to be the way to go when it comes to minimalist line ups. Jurassic Witch are not one of those exceptions their songs may be drenched in tone altering effects, decorated with intense vocals that border on harsh and be driven by thunderous avalanche causing rhythms but there is no getting away from the fact that deep at the core of this band beats a heart of blue. The titles of the four songs that make up "Black Masses and Ashes" are a clever mash up of occult terminology and dinosaur names, hence Velociraptor becomes "Velocireaper", Pterodactyl becomes "Pterrordactyl", Stegosaurus becomes "Stegasorceress" and T. Rex becomes "T. Hex", each song a blend of lumbering ferality and dark doomic dankness that perfectly mirrors its playful title. Musically Jurassic Witch amalgamate their love of the blues with an equal love for the proto-doom of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and Sleep, Fisher's, low slung guitar attack paying as much tribute to Iommi, Pike and Oborn as it does to British blues boomers Page. Beck and Clapton, the guitarist doubling up his baritone six-string assaults with impassioned vocals that can sometimes border on maniacal but tend to sit on the cleaner side of harsh while Urian gives support with a drum sound so big, loud and so powerful it almost borders on Bonham-esque.