Released: 30th September 2016
Offering listeners their darkest strand of psychedelia to date, The Wytches are back with second album All Your Happy Life, a record where the songs are as trippy as the album cover. The Brighton band first stamped their mark onto the music industry in 2013 with their debut single ‘Beehive Queen’, and were swiftly branded as the newest pioneers of warped psychedelic punk.
Highlights of the album include ‘C-Side’, a chaotic playground of overdriven guitars and aggressive slow drum beats that seamlessly bounce off front-man Kristian Bell’s sedated vocals. Then drawing influences from the sullen gloominess of The Pixies, ‘A Feeling We Get’ is a delicious mix of monotone howling paired with brief explosions of thrashing drums. With teasing slow motion, the line “Every day I get this feeling that I can’t shake” becomes a hypnotic mosh pit waiting to fizzle over.
Relentless, heavy and cynical ‘Ghost House’ feels capable of rocking the ocean with one single riff, yet quickly becomes mundane and lacking variety. Lyrically, Kristian Bell is appears to tackle some serious issues but his oddly pitched vocals and relentless Kurt Cobain style screeching merely become white noise. The excessive gloom and heaviness of similar tracks such as ‘Can’t Face It’, ‘Throned’ and ‘Crest of Death’ are the perfect soundtrack for listeners who want to channel their inner irritated teenager.
If there’s a difference to their previous work, All Your Happy Life is undeniably pushing the darker and more disturbed side of psychedelia. While hitting the sweet spot of kaleidoscopic modern punk perfectly, it also at times becomes an inconsistent mish-mash of menacing noises. Kristian Bell has admitted in recent interviews to “liking the idea of different styles” yet this results in a disjointed and suffocating feel. It all feels a little too difficult for listeners to have a clear understanding of the music that The Wytches are trying to achieve.
3. Can’t Face It
4. A Feeling We Get
6. Ghost House
8. Crest of Death
9. A Dead Night Again
10. Dumb Fill
Words by Charlotte Miles