Release Date: Mar 7, 2006
Record label: Tee Pee
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Many admirers of '80s-era indie rock will always consider Dinosaur Jr. to be toward the top of the heap -- thanks to such classic releases as 1987's You're Living All Over Me and 1988's Bug. However, guitarist J Mascis always was a classic rocker at heart -- his melodic yet fuzzy solos were equal parts Neil Young and Ace Frehley. So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Mascis' early-21st century side project Witch could easily be mistaken for a heavy metal release -- in the Black Sabbath mold.
Replete with allegorical Washington Irving imagery and some of the most enveloping drum sounds of the last ten years, Witch's self-title debut seems set on continuing the fuzz-drenched, bellbottomed rock lineage created by Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. It's no surprise that percussion dominates the aural foreground, though. After all, the man behind the kit -- none other than Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis -- is footing the bill for this record.
A couple of years ago, I witnessed the one- or two-song reunion of Deep Wound, the early hard-core punk band and Dinosaur predecessor that was, until recently, the last band in which J. Mascis had regularly played drums. Despite a certain amount of nostalgia, despite a bit too much jovial interplay between the long-estranged Mascis and Lou Barlow, despite the passage of 20 years or more, it was clear that Deep Wound was a band that seriously rocked – and one of the reasons was Mascis' take-no-prisoners approach to the drum kit.