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Thursday, November 12, 2015

LP Review: Dying Surfer Meets His Maker by All Them Witches

“Call Me Star” soothes the soul and invites the listener into Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, the newest recording by Nashville’s own, All Them Witches. You can almost see the band playing their acoustic instruments on the front porch overlooking the Tennessee Valley. But don’t be fooled by the backwoods, mellow vibe on the opening track. All Them Witches delivers on both atmospheric beauty as well as driving riffs.

The Witches are Charles Michael Parks, Jr. on vocals and bass, Ben McLeod on guitar, Allan Van Cleave on keys and Robby Staebler on drums. From their Facebook page, “Heavy, heady and hypnotic, All Them Witches concoct a powerful and potent psychedelic sound that fuses bluesy soul, Southern swagger and thunderous hard rock.”

With obvious influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Kyuss, these guys take the soundscape and extend it beyond convention. “El Centro” leads with a mesmerizing riff and feeds a spooky dynamic while “Dirt Preachers” brings a more straight-up hard rock vibe. “This is Where it Falls Apart” will remind you of the loose, bluesy jams of the Allman Brothers while “Mellowing” has more of a “No Quarter”/Led Zeppelin feel. “Blood and Sand” closes the record with a seven-minute-plus heavy jam that will leave you wanting more.

Dying Surfer Meets His Maker is a fundamentally diverse and polished recording that somehow still captures the vibrant essence of the open jam. All Them Witches deliver an exotic mix of experiences that are so interesting that you’ll want to spin the record over and over again, listening for the little gems you missed on the previous pass.

Dying Surfer Meets His Maker is now available from the band’s website and you can listen to cuts in the usual places, including the Bandcamp embed at the top of this review. As of fall 2015, All Them Witches is on tour so make sure you get to a show. I’ll see you there.

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