The Wytches

Annabel Dream Reader

The WytchesAnnabel Dream Reader
The debut from Brighton's the Wytches merges recent goth and surf rock with '90s post-punk revivalism. The result is a neo-noir form of grunge-y garage rock.

The band name is fitting – Wytches create a mystical, seedy, dimly lit landscape dotted with gypsies, grave-dwellers and girls shaking bibles like pendulums. Annabel Dream Reader feels like the soundtrack to a Tarantino film, from the suspenseful "Robe for Juda" and the quivering, paced solos of "Gravedweller" to the wonky guitar on the sauntering and slithering "Fragile Male for Sale." The trashy-sounding opening that settles into an impressive groove on "Burn Out The Bruise" and the slick "Part Time Model" round out the picture.

Kristian Bell is a worn down, sensitive soul tormented by the demons of daily life. There is real desperation on the heart-wrenching and primitive "Summer Again" and "Wide at Midnight," on which Bell sounds like a gravel-throated Jack White screaming (almost overdramatically) as if on the verge of death. Conversely, the pared-down ballad "Track 13," with its line "Every day is a bad dream or a story to sell" harkens to the Libertines and Elliott Smith. (Dine Alone)
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