Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Witchwood - Litanies From The Woods, album review


Are Witchwood spoilers? No, not for a fight – though there is a battle for attention going on here – but rather in terms of getting in the way of one needing to search for originals: rock/prog bands actually from the 60s/70s rather than contemporary Italy.

Not Scandinavian and not Nordic and not from the past but in the past musically, Witchwood have on this debut album joined the retro-wagon with a loadful of heavyrock and progrock rockrolex replica items that recraft from Deep Purple to Blood, Sweat and Tears, A Place for the Sun for the former and Liar [it's the flute/Satie] for the latter. There is a sound effect in the folkrock Shade of Grey that comes, I am convinced, from Clear Light's Mr Blue, 1967.

Even the album cover draws on an image redolent of prior posings, and none of this is criticism as those who have read my previous celebrations of such musical echoings will readily recall. As a negative, however, in reviewing an album like this one gets attached to referring to precursor sounds, inevitably; as a positive, it seems to me that the actual joy will be in hearing these bands live when the ‘originals’ are long gone – though of course many have reconvened and hit the lucrative middle-aged, middle-income targeted nostalgia tours.

The ultimate test for those who think an ultimate line needs to be drawn under past or present incarnations of such sounds is - will Witchwood be remembered and/or around in 40/50 years’ time? Probably not, so enjoy them now.

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