· Dinosaur Jr. front man J. Mascis and Co. rock out like its 1972.
Witch, the side project of Dinosaur Jr. front man J. Mascis, takes the early 70s heavy metal elements that his full-time band only hinted at and makes them his prime focus, resulting in a thick slab of fuzzy guitars that falls somewhere between Ozzy-era Black Sabbath and Dead Meadow.
Mascis sits behind the drum kit on this record and his pounding caveman rhythms give the band a powerful drive. Along for the ride are Asa Irons and Kyle Thomas from folk-rock band Feathers, on guitar and vocals respectively. Irons proves to be surprisingly adept on the guitar, with "Soul of Fire" offering a very Tony Iommi-esque solo, but Thomas simply doesnt have the strength to front this sludgy, riff-worshipping band. Both his singing and Dungeons & Dragons lyrics come off as pale imitations of the music this band seeks to pay tribute to.
Another problem is the lack of memorable hooks. With the exception of opener "The Seer," none of the songs have the instantly memorable riffs that Black Sabbath is famous for and Thomass vocal melodies are much too loose to make an impression. Despite their best efforts, none of the songs are bona fide heavy classics, although all of them sound pleasant enough when the album is playing.
Despite these flaws, the record is executed with a surprising amount of earnestness and it would make a worthy soundtrack for anyone who wants to break in a new bong.