20 Aug 2015

The Wytches / Thunder Lizard's Reprieve (EP review)

Prior to the release of their scuzzy, grunge-influenced debut last year, Annabel Dream Reader, Brighton trio The Wytches released their most overlooked effort to date; the atmospheric, doom-ridden cassette-only Thunder Lizard Revisited EP - it got considerably less attention than their debut, but is an equally essential release for any fans of the band. Now, a year on from their debut album, The Wytches are giving Thunder Lizard a reprieve, as that title is yet again sported by the band. Available as a completely free download, Thunder Lizard Reprieve dropped yesterday via Scion AV's soundcloud.

Opening with a song that's been with us since record store day, and their blistering NME tour performances, Wastybois violently opens The Wytches' first release of 2015. It's got more venom, menace, and malice than anything on last year's debut, and thanks to a storming psychobilly rhythm, some apocalyptic drum breakdowns, and some of Kristian Bell's rawest vocals to date, it's the perfect Wytches track, and maybe the first thing they've done that actually captures the sheer scale of their live vitriol. It's so fucking raw, and so fucking good.

Its cantering power is again matched in the outro of the otherwise stand-offish DADFAC# instrumental, that makes the blood rush with some absolutely storming sounds all 'round, showing that the band are one of the tightest and most capable on the circuit.

On the other end of the scale, showing that the band do waltzing Elliott Smith-esque type numbers just as well, If Not For Money is very much similar to last year's album track Weights and Ties, with more powerful lyrics and a more deadpan, deeply mixed vocal sound, and some very complimentary organ sounds.

With their near-perfect Annabel Dream Reader debut not too long since released, you'd think that The Wytches would have to go the extra mile to better the sound that made sure they were last year's breakout band, and with Thunder Lizard's Reprieve, they've done just that. The vocals are rawer, much more snarling, and the band's vicious menace that they'd previously only demonstrated live is much more apparent here. The Wytches are the perfect band right now, and this is probably their most honed effort to date. As well as that though, they show promise to evolve constantly, as they've said that LP2 will sound nothing like this, meaning that the band still have some surprise punches to pack yet.