ALBUM REVIEW: “SLEEPING THROUGH THE WAR” by ALL THEM WITCHES

a3081064487_10Take a breath, and lean in closely for a very important announcement: Great rock n’ roll isn’t dead, it’s just under-appreciated and under-promoted in the mainstream media. At East of 8th, we love good rock’ n roll, we’re here to appreciate and promote it, and we are currently under the spell cast by All Them Witches in their forthcoming album, Sleeping Through The War, out February 24th via New West Records.

The band, known for their long, intense, psych-rock jams and dreamy imagery, has continued that tradition on the new record; however, within this extraordinary album, there is growth, tight focus, and a new sense of minimalism—something refreshing and cohesive, and perhaps a sign that All Them Witches have crafted a masterpiece that may soon break the band into the national conscience.

With legendary producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell) behind the board, the group created an awe-inspiring marvel. Album opener “Bulls” builds slowly as vocalist Charles Parks Jr. paints a vivid sonicscape ranging from calmness to disconcerting emotion. His signature fuzzed-out bass work is on full display here, accompanied adeptly by Ben McLeod’s shimmering guitar work and Robby Staebler’s rumbling kit work, as Allan Van Cleave’s organ fills the spaces, bringing growth and depth to the composition.

Deep introspection abounds on “3-5-7,” while jumpy bass work intertwines ethereally with bright picking and muscular, crunchy guitar on “Alabaster,” in which Parks declares he is going to live on his own terms, for himself, divergent to societal expectations or norms. He thrives with no masks, no invisible chains, and no regret. Jammy track “Guess I’ll Go Live On the Internet”, which clocks in just less than 10 minutes, is a gift to longtime fans; the song is no ostentatious or self-indulgent throwback to past work, but is a focused, poignant piece where Parks expresses the traps and pitfalls of being a contrarian of society, and breathily speaks his story, shedding his disgust like a copperhead sheds its skin.

Like Pink Floyd, Rush, and Josh Homme’s desert psych-rock band Kyuss, the musical underpinnings and techniques employed by All Them Witches are truly distinctive to them, and to them only—the signature style of four disparate musicians who add flavor and context not normally heard in any era; to say they are different from what you may have ever heard does not do them adequate justice.

Purchase Sleeping Through The War: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sleeping-through-the-war/id1175121467

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[This lovely review was crafted by Hunter MacLeod, international man of mystery and freelance writer for Brody Ramone’s Dirty Glitter and Mother Church Pew.  Catch up with him on Twitter–@MadH_MacLeod.]

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