mon 22/07/2024

Album: Wytch Pycknyck - Wytch Pycknyck | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Wytch Pycknyck - Wytch Pycknyck

Album: Wytch Pycknyck - Wytch Pycknyck

Debut from south coast quartet renders heavy rock as stunningly messed-up psychedelia

Cover art, for once, pretty much summing up the album's contents

Out on the perimeters where there are no stars, in a void full of bong-smoke and synesthetic noise… there, in a greasy biker hovel full of gigantic amps, there live Wytch Pycknyck. Some say that place is called Hastings. Whatever it’s called, this four-piece arrive to reinvigorate heavy rock with a demented energy, zigzagged to the gills with lysergic spirit and a belief in gutter-punk rock’n’roll.

Their debut album’s opening lines, on the speeding, riff-tastic smasher “Rawkuss”, are “I wanna party with the animals and live in the zoo”. It’s not metal, although the music tips its hat that way. Instead Wytch Pycknyck’s starting shot is somewhere between MC5 at their punchiest, and London’s recent grunged-out take on desert rock (The Brothers Keg spring to mind).

These seven songs, though, vary in pace and style. “Gravity Lies” is a good example, opening with a fuzzed-out cosmic sci-fi intro redolent of Michael Moorcock-era Hawkwind (“Theoretical physicists have told me that there as many as ten different dimensions”, etc). The momentum stops and starts, has different sections, but recalls Butthole Surfers far more than prog.

Singer Malt Jones’s voice is the perfect instrument to top Wytch Pycknyck’s cider-hash-amphetamine cocktail, veering all over the place dependent on a song’s needs, from deranged apocalyptic shrieks, to bullish nu-metal stuttering, to, on the rolling “Magical Revenge”, a voice that renders the song incongruously redolent of long-lost Nineties baggy sorts Flowered Up. And then there’s the closing eight-and-a-half minute “Frostbite which features an extended sequence where he raps over drums.

They are noisy bastards, they like garage squawl, but amidst it all there’s also a Reef-like, Queens Of The Stone Age-like pop suss. Guitars swing off on tuneful if pedal-twitched solos, analogue synth squiggles add psychedelic interest, choruses happen, but then the whole will plummet into a brilliant mess of freaked-out noisiness. Wytch Pycknyck’s debut is the hard rock album of the year so far.

Below: watch the video for "Colombo No. 5" by Wytch Pycknyck

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