If there were ever a band to emulate the bitter cold that’s started to seep into London but also act as an antidote for it at the same time, it’s The Wytches. The Brighton group’s sludgy, annihilating rock is as tactile an experience as it is a sonic and visual one. Fresh off the back of second full-length ‘All Your Happy Life’, the newly-minted four piece make Camden’s Electric Ballroom fall seamlessly under the spell they’ve cast.
The Wytches begin their art of obliteration from the get-go. Set-opener ‘C-Side’ is as primal as it is bewitching, the crowd in a stupor of a half-mosh, half-daze. Heavy distorted guitars dominate the set in what feels like a psych-pop slash goth slash punk hybrid. It’s all brooding rock that sleazes and slimes, creating an unbelievable shadowy soundscape that somehow never manages to sound drab. The group have stepped up the fervour of intensity with their latest album, and new tracks ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Throned’ are particularly brutal. The group brashly surge through tracks from debut ‘Annabel Dream Reader’, never looking back at the carnage they’ve left in their wake. It’s a captivating spectacle. The grittier numbers are devastatingly punishing at times, a dark occult energy floating across tracks such as ‘Gravedweller’.
The band oscillate through the night with deranged guitars in a haze of rabid noise, offered organic and raw. Frontman Kristian Bell’s gnarling, growling vocal delivery echoes through the venue, utterly bewitching as he sends everybody in the room into a helpless, hypnotic daze.
By the time set-closer ‘Crying Clown’ arrives, the band’s spell is finally broken, but the spirit of worship isn’t.
Photos: Phoebe Fox
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