Saturday, August 9, 2008

Baba Yaga, Squawk, Zap, Rum-ti-Tum...

No, the above image is not of E.T. undergoing a gynecological exam. It is, however, an icon used often in the cover and label art of UK band, Witchknot (I'm not an anthropologist, so if you have any info about this icon...). So what about the music? Well, since you've forced me to describe it: pagan-feminist-dada-post-punk. Maybe not. Witchknot is not easy to label, and to do so may not be very fair to begin with. So what's the bottom line regarding the listening experience? It's fuckin' brilliant! The driving force of the band's music starts with the bass and drums, which almost always combine to create amazingly infectious rhythms (and there's plenty of cowbell for you CB fans out there!). The melodies are provided by the violin and cello parts, which are simple but incredibly effective, and by, of course, the powerful vocals which alternate between beautiful singing, impassioned yelling and grunting, haunting harmonies, and quirky chants and incantations. The guitar may not be the driving force, but the cacophonous chords and wildly picked rhythms add a definite signature to an already unique sound. Some of you may want to accuse the band of trying too hard to be "artsy" or different, but even YOU might find, after listening, that all these parts combine and move seamlessly and organically. As off-kilter as Witchknot's sound appears at first, there's universal pop appeal that will surely enchant you and hold you spellbound if you let your guard down long enough.

What's also curious about most of Witchknot's releases, is that they were put out by Flat Earth Records (RIP), the hardcore label responsible for putting out records by Sedition, Ebola, etc. The download link below contains the "Squawk" LP, the "Suck" EP (both on Flat Earth), and some comp. tracks I found on a certain P2P site. Witchknot will not be for everybody, but if you're musically malleable enough to enjoy Guts Pie Earshot, Red Monkey, Spitboy, and/or The Horny Mormons, this band may change your life...


Also, check out three of the members' new band, Baba Yaga.

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