After several years of constant touring, the long-awaited self-titled debut from Californian’s L.A. WITCH finally arrived last year to a wave of critical acclaim.
They take to the stage this evening in Nice N Sleazy – perhaps the most appropriately-named venue in the world for their brand of psychedelic-inspired garage rock.
By the time the Witch arrive, Sleazy’s is packed to the rafters.
As the band begin with an opening low-key instrumental, much of the crowd don’t even realise they have begun their set, however the deafening bass of an early airing of single ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ drowns our any lingering murmurs.
It wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to find L.A. WITCH’s jams on a Tarantino soundtrack, or playing on a jukebox in Twin Peaks.
Their influences are worn on their sleeve and sound as much like early 60s Motown girl groups as they do with the current wave of modern psych groups.
Rattling through a 45-minute set with little respite, it is only on the gorgeous slow-build of ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’ that the pace briefly relents.
Even though each member is a key component to the gritty sound, the real star is frontwoman Sade Sanchez.
With a jet black mop covering her face, like a long-lost Ramone relative, her beguiling vocals – hidden under layers of distortion – and excellent guitar work, are what really captivates the audience.
It is Sanchez who leads the way on a closing ‘Feel Alright’ with anthemic riffs weaved between trippy interludes.
The venue this evening is significantly busier than their show in Mono last year, testament to the quality and impact that the release of their record has already had, but the band are a far tighter unit as well.
Their relentless touring schedule is paying dividends and even the newer material aired tonight is exceptional, promising much more to look forward to from the group.
Words: Graham McCusker
Photos: Caitlin Macintyre