Twelve years and four albums into their career and five years since the last album, “Smoke And Mirrors” it’s very much business as usual for Dixie Witch. Even the departure of founding guitarist Clayton Mills in 2009 and subsequent replacement by JT Smith has done nothing to diminish or detract from the band’s hooch fuelled southern rocking shenanigans.
Let’s face it, we don’t look to the Witch dudes for high concept pieces, multi layered, orchestrated musical experiments or complex wordplay. No, we look to the Witch to kick our asses with some of the most bitching, hard rock and roll on the planet, and on “Let It Roll” they deliver…in spades!!!
From the opening title track, through “Boogie Man” to the closing strains of “December”, Dixie Witch channel the departed spirits of Ronnie Van Zandt and Greg Allman through a cranked up Marshall, a barrel of Jack Daniels and more drugs than a touring funk band. This is heavy, southern rock and roll for the stoned generation, the sort of thing that, through bands such as Sun Gods In Exile, The Brought Low, Halfway To Gone and Roadsaw, Small Stone have excelled in delivering to a pent up, anally retentive world to loosen spines and befuddle minds. It’s hard to pick out stand out tracks, the album rarely lets up in intensity whether they’re hammering hard on tracks such as “Anthem” or pulling it back from the edge on “The High Deal”. Dixie Witch have this whole sound sewn right up. It flows from their pores in a whisky sweat and inhabits their skin like a Confederate flag tattoo. No riff here is surplus to requirements, no melody anything less than catchy and from the soul.
This time round drummer, the excellently named Trinidad Leal and bassist Curt “CC” Christenson share vocals more than they have done on previous releases, though it is Leal’s slightly stronger, Dave Wyndorf like voice that does dominate with a greater sense of soul. Similarly new guitarist JT Smith has succeeded in toning down the band’s metal muscle and injects a greater sense of the blues into the proceedings whilst retaining the irresistible, treacle thick fuzz tones of his predecessor.
For a while there it looked as though the Dixie Witch story was done and dusted but on the strength of this album it looks as though that is far from the case and the band have plenty of life in their old bones yet. Let’s hope they don’t leave it another five years before giving us a fine excuse to crack open some cold brews and party like its 1975!!!
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall