Before the year ended I managed to force Ryan to listen to one of my favourite contemporary psych-rock bands, and it turned out he was actually rather keen to have a cheeky chat about their latest album, Nothing as the Ideal.
This album was a bit of a side-step from All Them Witches’ usual, heavily blues-influenced psych-rock fare, and instead saw them exploring proggier, chuggier, and groovier dimensions of their sound. And the world is a better place for it. Nothing as the Ideal breathes new life into the band’s already extensive catalogue of releases and offers a respite from the bluesy, bar-band rut which the band arguably fell into on their previous release, ATW.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh there (ATW is actually a fine album, and if you have the time I’d recommend you go and give it a spin), but the point is, on this record the band sound revitalized, re-energized, and reinvigorated—hungry again to make music and explore the auditory limits of their sound while blazing new trails through the psychedelic stratosphere. As a listener who’s been spinning their records and EPs since the release of Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, I’m pleased to say that this new album is one of the most exciting and engaging albums this already excellent band has ever put out.
Stripping down to a three-piece has done wonders for their sound—trimming the fat and streamlining the band to allow for a more efficient, muscular, and immediate delivery. Experimental tones remain, with extensive use of loops, field recordings, and samples peppering the album in a surprisingly musical and non-gimmicky way. Lyrically, Parks has never been as poetic and engaging as on this release, shining most prominently (in my humble and ultimately meaningless opinion) on the album highlight (and tonal deviation), “Children of Coyote Woman”.
But before I give away all of our rambling revelations, check out the podcast and listen to us incoherently babble about how wonderful this record is. It’s a wild and winding ride, but I came out of the conversation loving this album even more than I did when I went into it.
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Digital and physical (LP, CD, CS) copies of Nothing as the Ideal are available via the All Them Witches Bandcamp page. If you’d like to stay in-the-loop about new developments from the trio’s camp, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.
Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server. Up next week is a review of Guru Meditation, the latest aggro electrogrind chiptuneage from Norway’s Next Life.