March 18, 2016 by Robb Powell
This INCREDIBLE debut EP from indie pop rock duo The Witch Kids was released 8th February and they are certainly whipping up some mighty marvellous magic with this first offering, t’must be said. The quality is so immense you may need a lie down after listening, trust me. When a debut explodes with such excellence as this it is impossible not to get rather overexcited about what lies ahead. The exquisite arrangements and stunning sounds that went into the production of these 5 tantalising tracks well and truly knocks you for six. Repeatedly. Granted, it is like a big hard smack in the face but it is just the kind of smack in the face you need. It forces you away from the tired listless music of the mainstream and plants you firmly within these twisted love songs for awkward romantics (I couldn’t resist stealing this descriptive line from their Twitter bio).
Twisted they may well be but they are also incredibly established and rounded! And yet, that sense of pure experimentation is never lost. Naturally, over polishing would detract from any artistic brilliance but there is no sign or danger of that here. The brilliance bursts into your mind, dancing countless dances of delight enticing you into a fantastic musical frenzy for the entire duration.
All five songs comprise various yet always extremely infectious melodies running through them like a solid back bone from which many a wonder sprouts, intertwines, writhes and contributes to the journey. These are so glorious they pull you deep into the heart. It’s as if the very soul of each is so alive and so vibrant with an abundance of expression, the stories come alive before your eyes. Or else sucks you through an inter-dimensional portal right into the centre of the action. Opening track Smoking in the Bath is for Rich People is a sure-fire way to hook listeners right in from the off with an opening line that paints a potential, if metaphorical bloody picture. The lyrics instantly grab your attention and before you know it you’re fully immersed within the cavalcade of music that unfolds around them. And oh my, it is exquisite! The gear is moved up a notch further with the fast-paced barrage of Money Makes The World Go Round. With soothing ooooooh’s and bop ba da das that completely take over your body rendering you a fully-fledged backing dancer as you’re unable to stop bop ba da-ing along. There’s also a stunning vocal effect employed in the latter half of the song. Admittedly, this is only on a line or two but it is so perfectly placed.
The lyrics on Money Makes the World Go Round are so spot on, so true and so sharp they may in fact draw blood. They really capture the capitalist greed inherent in a world seemingly obsessed with consumerism and yet achieves this with a subtlety that is divine. Add this to the accomplished music and production, it will be a crime if this pair are not picked up for expansive radio airplay soon! Manny’s lead vocals are so delightfully smooth. They actually wash over and cleanse you as they go, leaving behind a waxy shine. A cool glossy coating you don’t want to ever be without again after hearing them charm you with words of lyrical wisdom. If the music industry was just, and based on actual merit then you would never be far away from hearing a song by The Witch Kids.
The deep smooth bass-filled fury running through No Good Love takes the surrounding and supporting sounds of this particular track in yet more splendid directions, scaling whole new heights of excellence. Ooh, and the delicate backing whispers towards the very end of If There’s A Potion, I’ll Drink It are pure magnificence. More please! Just when you’ve got back to your feet and think you cannot be astounded anymore – WHAM! BAM! – you’re flat on your back as new and entralling combinations erupt in the ears. The monumental mix making up closing track Sweetheart will be the point at which you’ll need that lie down but only after hitting [repeat all].
What gives these songs an edge over ‘mainstream’ pop music is the art with which the underlying melodies are fused with the myriad of so many luscious layers. There is no passive listening here because there is so very much going on. It never feels like too much, though. Instead it entices the mind to probe deeper, to prize apart the whole uncovering the gems beneath. The multitude of instruments, the melodies, those drums, the words, the claps, the whispers and backing vocals – the skills at play right across the board in bringing everything together are simply put, OUTSTANDING! Individually, each song is a veritable banquet of supreme aural pleasure. Together they are a feast that never ends.
This EP is completely spellbinding! And yet there are no smoke and mirrors illusions at work. This is the real deal, well and truly whetting the appetite for much, much more to come. I’m left salivating so profusely I am now a category one flood risk. Bring on upcoming single I Ain’t Buyin’! (A review of that coming soon) Music this good is what ears and minds – and radios for that matter – were made for. Now go buy the EP or The Witch Kids will turn you into a mammoth-sized rancid puss-filled boil ready to pop. You have been warned. Quick…click >>http://thewitchkids.co.uk/<<
The II EP is available from:
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Photograph by Jamie Wade – https://www.facebook.com/jamiewadephotography/