For such a popular music genre, I’m surprised I don’t get more grunge bands to review. With the exception of the most recent Alice In Chains album I can’t think off the top of my head if I’ve reviewed another grunge album, and I’ve definitely never been given one from an independent band until now. That’s how Witchingseason were sold on me, I was intrigued to finally get my opinion out on an independent grunge band.
Opening track on Witchingseason’s self titled EP, Spiders has a noticeable Soundgarden influence to it, with a slightly faster pace than some would expect from a grunge band, while keeping all grunge elements where they need to be. Then furthermore on God’s Waiting Room the band cranks it up even more. Listening to this fast paced track I have a tough time believing it’s the same band that played most of the other tracks on the EP. Then things are brought back down to a grunge level with Mechanical Failure; this time around the pace is more similar to Spiders… with a faster drum beat that keeps the song from being an otherwise slow and sludgy track. Impressively written but kind of forgotten in this pack of grunge tracks.
False Light serves as a reminder that Witchingseason are out to hopefully revive grunge a bit and show that they know what they’re doing and it brings the five songs into a full circle by ending with a slow track that speeds up toward the end, just as Codeine opened the EP.
Witchingseason doesn’t end their EP by breaking any new ground, but rather they stick to the basics, but in an epic way. Codeine, was released months ago and was my first taste of the band. For a seven-and-a-half minute track it sure doesn’t really feel like it. Each time I listen to it, the first five minutes go by in what seems like two minutes. It’s a good opening track because it shows a healthy amount of originality mixed with the grunge essentials such as sludgy as hell guitars as well as a changing pace that goes from very slow to slow, then back to very slow, and then the last minute and a bit of the song when it speeds up a bit. The most impressive musician on the track is drummer Wayne Summers, though just like a good grunge bassist, James Willians is impossible to miss, but it’s guitarist/vocalist Tom Reynolds that keeps the song together with his guitar riffs and well listenable voice.
The musical intelligence of Witchingseason is unique. I can’t completely state my opinion of them as musicians, but as grunge musicians I think they know exactly what it takes. Sure at times, really with only two tracks, they sound a bit too close to Soundgarden, but other than that I feel they have an original grunge sound while keeping the essentials right intact.
“Spiders” – It’s slower when it has to be and faster when it needs to be, and it doesn’t take too long to get to both of these points, which makes Spiders the best sampler I can think of from Witchingseason. It shows their grunge intelligence almost perfectly and the more I listen to it the more sure I am that it’s the highlight of the EP.
8 (Out of 10)
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