Tuesday 14 February 2023


Somewhere in a city called Newcastle, situated in New South Wales, Australia, sit five hairy musicians smoking weed and drinking beer watching a movie called "THE VVITCH", this is not the first time these guys have watched this movie, in fact the movie has become somewhat of an obsession with them, so much so that it has even inspired them to put down their beers and bongs and pick up their instruments to make an album. The musicians in question go by the collective name of Drug Mother and the album they have made is called "Rise Witch" an album the band describe as a concept album, the theme of which is getting drunk and watching "THE VVITCH".

"Stone on the back it’s done, stone in the mouth the burial has begun" is the immortal first line of opener "Deep Down in the Darkness" a lyric proceeded by a sardonically whispered  mantra and a groove that sits somewhere between swaggering southern metal and chugging proto-doom, a song full of occult imagery that doesn't try to pretend that it is anything other than what it is... which is a slice of gnarly-assed occult themed fuzz'n'roll. "Guide thy Hand" follows with guitar amps dialled to eleven and drums in thunder mode the raucous groove relenting only for a second to allow the vocalist to announce that "this is a song about an old Welsh witch" before once again taking off on wave of  southern fried raunchiness decorated in husky toned vocals and interspersed with moments of lysergic haziness. Next up is "Hemarthrosis" a strategically placed, mostly instrumental number that allows the band to really stretch out, the band jamming a groove that along the way employs everything from neo classical shredding to wordless choral harmonies. We say strategically placed because "Hemarthrosis" marks a shift in the albums sound towards a darker, danker and more doomic dynamic, a dynamic that can also be found making its presence felt on the albums last two tracks, "Wicked Sky" and "The Wych Elm", tracks that see the band not exactly jettisoning their southern swagger but certainly sees them not leaning on it as much, still raunchy and raucous but with the guitar tones a little darker, the bass lines a touch more boneshaking and the drums a tad more thunderous. 

Photo by Lucas Smith

Witch themed songs inspired by a film about a witch compiled on an album called "Rise Witch" is the short summary of what Drug Mother present to us with their latest release, the longer summary would probably go something like .. a heady, quite addictive, mix of raucous stoner rock, gnarly southern metal and dank doom weaved around lyrical themes of  witchcraft and the occult. Short summary or long summary the conclusion is the same and that is that "Rise Witch" is a real banger of an album that any stoner or doomer, with a love of a meaty riff, would be proud to add to their playlist.
Check it out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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