Along with a love of a meaty riff Desert Psychlist also loves a good melody, something we can easily hum or sing along to. Now we know that probably may seem a bit strange, seeing as we spend all our free time writing about and listening to music that isn't exactly massive on hummable melodies, but it is actually a fact, so you can imagine our delight when a band comes along that jams a marriage of the two. Margarita Witch Cult hail from Birmingham, UK the same city that gave us Black Sabbath, but that is where any comparisons with Ozzy and co. end, in fact Margarita Witch Cult are probably closer in sound to the raw edged desert rock of Kyuss than they are the dank pre-doom of Sabbath, their grooves are raw, raucous and raunchy and are at times even punky and Motorhead-ish, all of which makes their self-tiled debut "Margarita Witch Cult" (Heavy Psych Sounds Records) such a welcome breath of fresh air.
After making mentions of Motorhead and punk rock in this reviews intro Margarita Witch Cult go and screw us over by opening their debut with "Diabolical Influence" a song that boasts a groove straight out of the Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats for dummies handbook, the song is catchy heavy and possess a superbly delivered vocal melody that is nigh-on impossible not to sing-along with. Next track "Death Lurks at Every Turn" comes out of the traps at breakneck tempo with its guitar tones raunchy and crunching, its drumming furious and fiery, its bottom end lower than a snakes belly and its vocals ear-catching and gritty. Following number "The Witchfinder Comes" utilizes horror movie flavoured lyrical imagery around a heavy chugging proto-doom groove yet does not fall into the trap of trying to be overly dank and dark thanks in part to the songs endearing vocal playfulness "Be My Witch" follows and this is song guaranteed to prove a live favourite, close your eyes and you can just imagine a crowd fist pumping and slam dancing while singing along to its ear worm of a chorus. We did mention earlier that MWC have a little Motorhead in their locker and "Annihilation" is the song where they open that locker and allow it to run free, to call this fast and furious would be an understatement. MWC go instrumental for next track "Theme From Cyclops" a heavily rhythmic workout built around a circular groove that is then followed up by "Lord of the Flies" another hook laden tome, this one blending elements of proto-doom with old school heavy metal and 70's heavy rock. "Aradia" is another instrumental but where the previous one threw the spotlight on the rhythmic duo of drummer George Casual and bassist Jim Thing this one allows guitarist/vocalist Scott Vincent the chance to shine and show off his six-string prowess. Last song "Sacrifice" opens the door for the band to stretch out and experiment with a little heavy psych texturing and colour, nothing over the top just a hint of lysergic ambience sandwiched either side by slabs of raucous raw gnarly retro flavoured doom.
© 2023 Frazer Jones