Best Witches – Wishes – Album Review

Layered with rock riffs, punk beats, and psychedelic undertones, Chicago band, Best Witches showcase their strong new album Wishes. Melodic even at its heaviest crescendos, Best Witches were clearly mindful of creating an album devoid of monotony.

The album opener “Orange Things” displays their solid rhythm section for the four piece band. With fairly straightforward lyrics (“Orange Things” is about orange things, by the way…), the song preps the listener to the textured and layered song structures to come. It’s followed up with “Weaver” the up-tempo rocker, which features jangling guitars and heavy riffs. With pensive lyrics proclaiming, “life’s a disease but the cure is inside everyone,” holds the album’s momentum strongly.

The infectious punk-rock groove of “Heat Moves” is further augmented by its musing about happiness. While it’s ideal to, “embrace the happy and your dreams will leave your troubles all behind,” by the end of the song a more realist approach takes over.  Life isn’t all too difficult to process with the right mind frame, “my life seems like an endless black hole that sucks up time but at the same time it feels alright just getting by.”

“Labor Day” starts out with frenetic drums and distorted guitars but later turns reverb heavy. Recounting on the possible indulging of champagne and orange juice (honestly, who doesn’t like mimosas?) that makes a stomach feel “like a hurricane,” the song continues with its melodic guitar lines.

The psychedelic intro of “Me & Hawkins” (sounding like an outtake from Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain”), complete with whale sounds, sets the stage for a tale of cursed treasure, a sinking ship, and a skeleton kid. It’s another moral take on keeping a watchful eye on materialistic goods with the song proclaiming, “all that glitters is gold and dead men do tell tales, but they’re all tired and old.”

The prog-rock like start to “Muffie” turns into a Radiohead-like “Paranoid Android” blowout by the end of the track, as the difficulties of lip locking is discussed very briefly in the song. The short instrumental track “Skeleton” has its experimental tinges tied with a schizophrenic riff.

One of the catchiest songs off the album, “Wrinkles” continues again with the bands structure of heavy periods of bombastic sonic explosions coupled with melodic bridges. Musing on people and nature wanting to be heard, images of rain falling down and white clouds meld together with its melody.

“Muffie’s Return” continues to build on the album’s wide arrangement of musical diversity. With the backdrop of a new year and empty champagne bottles in the background, along with its Jeff Buckley-like chords, the song hints at empty ruminations, “seems celebrations in the air, but whats a year if no one’s keeping track or even really cares?”

The album’s last and longest track “Happy Guy” stretches out the bands clear knack for experimenting. While never going full avant-garde, the band eventually adds layers and layers until the song approaches the album’s last momentous sonic bang.

A very strong album by all accounts, definitely recommended. Wishes is currently available on Best Witches Bandcamp website:

https://bestwitches.bandcamp.com/album/wishes

Album was released on August 25 2014.

 

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