This is the fifth album by Nashville based All Them Witches and if you’ve heard any of the previous ones (the excellent Sleeping Through the War springs to mind), prepare for something different, something even better. This latest album, ATW, owes more to Blue Cheer and the 13thFloor Elevators than their earlier output, although the signs were there… now they are fully realised. This is heavy blues with a healthy dash of late 60s psychedelia… and it sounds just great.
The title of the opening track is enough to make you want to love them. The shuffle of ‘Fishbelly 86 Onions’ convinces the blues, psych fan within me, that this is the late 60s again. The organ-drenched rhythm of ‘Half-Tongue’ leaves no doubt whatsoever. ‘Workhorse’ with the dirty slide is sheer brilliance in its execution. ‘1stvs 2nd’ is like the Beck era Yardbirds but with a more of an edge. ‘Diamond’, with its discord and thumping drums is slow in pace but high in drama. The ten-minute plus ‘Harvest Feast’ sounds like it could have been on Free’s Tons of Sobs but with Parks on vocals… it is blues done very well and very heavy and is already on repeat. ‘HTJC’ starts with bass and vocal and gets weightier as the guitar sparsely joins it. This should be rubbish… but is not, it draws you in. The final track is, I guess, like a six-minute jam of the old school: ‘Rob’s Dream’ makes you glad it isn’t yours. The touches of Barrett era Floyd are there, but it remains solidly ATW as it sprawls and enthrals.
All Them Witches have put together an album of varied paces, moods and depths, yet they all work and this deserves to be listened to and acclaimed. If you love heavy blues, heavy psych played well, this is for you. If you aren’t familiar with ATW, then you owe it to yourself to try this… it is a work of genius and captivates from first to last.