The terms “deathrock” and “post-rock” have been tossed around frequently in recent years, but seldom have those titles been earned. I am as much to blame as anyone – an addict by nature, there is the need to re-capture that feeling I found the first time I popped Only Theater of Pain into my Walkman. The insanity is there can only be one first time….Thanks for sharing, keep coming back. This doesn’t mean I haven’t found some great punk, metal and dark-wave while chasing the dragon of deathrock. Atriarch, Alaric, Night Sins, Beastmilk and Death of Lovers were all stumbled across in this pursuit. Anasazi have made a mean stab at taking me back there with their new LP Nasty Witch Rock. Rozz Williams always said they were punks who liked Halloween, and these guys have taken those words to heart. This is not the band tricking or treating as Christian Death, instead they have stirred up a chaotic cauldron of halloweenish punk recalling The Birthday Party. The lo-fi production causes things like backing vocals to become buried. It sounds like the band has successfully captured their live sound. Anasazi have really grown, not only as songwriters, but as wielders of their sonic craftsmanship. They have polished their unpolished guitar tone as the wildly struck chords ring out with a more new found Cramps-like warmth.
The rumbling garage rock of “Doors of Void” is a reckless collision of guitars. The vocals shout below the echo of it all. Perhaps the vocals are less shouted and more sung than the band’s previous efforts. The death-rock bass doesn’t rise from its grave until “Ash Wednesday.” Anasazi seems to be drinking from the same bottle as Iceage here from the slurred stumble this song takes, but they are without question much darker than the Danish punks. It’s not until “Hallelujah/Memba Me” that the dynamics take a shift from the dirty punk that drips off last night’s rock ‘n roll to a more suicidally dissonant driving punch. Aside from “Ash Wednesday,” they don’t decorate the songs with the sounds you might associate with deathrock, but the smeared lipstick, nose bleeding attitude of the L.A. underground is there.
The vocals take on a crazed punk sneer, falling somewhere inbetween Jello Biafra and Lux Interior on the one, two, three go… burst of “Black Leather Curse.” “Maniac in the Mirror” brings out the creepy, serving as one of the album’s darkest moments. It should please all denizens of the Bat Cave. They coast along the darkness with “Morbid Native,” where female vocals seduce the verses and leave the lead singer to incite the riot back to life on the choruses. Nasty Witch Rock lives up to its name, and touching places other bands haven’t on many levels, from it’s blow out the monitors live sound to it’s gutters of Hollywood attitude, if you wanna get dark, down and dirty, then play loudly.
March 3, 2015 at 11:53 pm
Love these guys! Cant find the album anywhere… All records sold out and no digital/bandcamp anywhere to be found. DAMN!
March 2, 2015 at 11:31 am
Hey, where is the band page for them?