WITCHE'S BREW (White Trash Sideshow) LP/CD

I had heard the name Witche's Brew before. Certain people in certain forums where tossing it around. And that normally should have been enough for me, to check them out, but somehow these Italians had escaped me 'til Klaus sent me a package with some of the latest stuff from Black Widow Records, including 'White Trash Sideshow' by the Brew. The title as well as the cover made me think of heavy rocking music for bikers and outcasts directly. Not exactly typical for a band on Black Widow Records. Hitting the play-button of the cd-player the first couple of songs with titles like 'Stone Cold Killer' and 'Leather' enforced that impression rather quickly. There is some nice Motörhead meet Saxon feel to the music at first. And the guys know how to write a simple but catchy riff that makes you stomp with the foot and nod with your head at least even while writing an album-review. The lead guitars are not exactly virtuous, but give you the nice lo-fi-blues attack that fits so well with the riffs.

But already the 9 minutes long 'Rebel Goon Blues' shows a new side to the band. A more psychedelic 70s side with some Hendrix influences, that really works well after the more straight rocking opening tracks. At times I even have to think of Church Of Misery. This is not only due to the music that develops a certain doomy psychedelic feel, but the vocal line somehow reminds me of a song by the weird guys from Japan. The vocals itself are an interesting point anyways. Similar to Church Of Misery, Mirko Zonka does not really sing. It is more like a mix of singing, barking and speaking. The vocals are actually hard to make out sometimes. At times you really can make them out, but sometimes they are buried by the guitars in the mix.

The production is odd anyways. Not only the vocals are somehow strangly mixed, but sometimes you get the feel that there is slight phaser effect on the whole thing. But it has a nice old school feeling to it that hits right on the same spot as the music does. You might need to get used to it. I surely needed a couple of spins. But once you get the production you finally should get hooked by the music as well. Songs like the slightly doomy 'The Mission', with some added organ and synth sounds are real gems of the current retro rock wave so to speak. Not all songs, especially the later songs like 'Dusk Till Dawn' or 'Drunkman Soul', are as good as that one but there is no real filler on this album and the two bonus tracks 'Bloody Mary' and 'Revenge' are as cool as the rest of the album. So if you dig your Rock’N’Roll dirty, a little doomy or psychedelic at times and like raw vocals and rough productions, this album should be right up your alley.

(Thorsten Frahling)