Brighton based rock band The Wytches headed to 60 million postcards on Thursday (26/1/17) to play over an hour of pure, unadulterated, psychedellic rock. Hope Frost reviews:
Upon arriving at Sixty Million Postcards on a gloomy January evening, a queue of leather and black denim clad twenty somethings could be seen moping outside – the type of crowd only The Wytches could attract.
The Wytches formed in 2011 and are now are based in Brighton. The sound they hurl at their listeners is a twisted form of psychedelia, with dark lyrics that create ironic and abstract stories. The band recently went from a three to a four piece and released their second album ‘All Your Happy Life’ in September 2016. The album delivers a refined and coherently sulky sound that reminds listeners of their fuzzy garage rock background, but also expands on the gloomy foundations of the first album, ‘Anabel Dream Reader’.
The boys kicked the evening off with ‘Ghost House’, a bitter and scuzzy track from their new album. The raspy vocals of lead singer Kristian Bell started a series of head-banging amongst the crowd as the sound waves smashed into their ear drums. The track has an intensity and punchiness that is specific to The Wytches, and it hits with a raw energy that crowds can’t help but thrash around to. The band started as they meant to go on, hunched over their instruments, black hair hanging over their faces. It was in this way that they played an incredibly tight set, offering sticky guitar riffs and bone-crushing bass – a proper Wytches experience.
Their first track left an atmosphere of teen angst and excitement which only increased as they played ‘Gravedweller’, a fan favourite. A mosh pit immediately broke out to which Kristian responded to, saying “be careful with each other, obviously” in a sort of half caring, half encouraging growl. This track features on their 2014 album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ and is a prime example of the reverb heavy, doom rock that their fans initially became obsessed with. It was interesting to hear how the band has developed since they put the track out 3 years ago, with new band members and more experience, it’s become darker and more severe.
The gig became increasingly intense as the moshes got tighter and the punters got sweatier. As each song ended it was met with appreciative grunts from the crowd and it was hard not to be enticed by the sickly slick drums and bass-lines. ‘Wide at Midnight’ was the next crowd favourite, also from their first album. It spun the crowd into a frenzy of head-banging as the track escalated into a heavy fuzz of Kristian’s screeching vocals and winding guitar riffs.
Considering the intensity of the gig the crowd remained enthusiastic, exhilarated from pummeling each other into a happy pulp. By the end of the gig they were left sufficiently satisfied by their dose of dirty psychedelia. It’s exciting to see a band so ardently into the music that they are creating, especially when the sound is so intriguing and different from anything else.