Earth and Ether by Kitchen WitchRelease date: August 21, 2020
Label: Kozmik Artifactz
In what seems like an endless abundance of very fine stoner/psych rock albums being released this year continues apace with Adelaide’s Kitchen Witch on their second album Earth and Ether. An Apocalyptic looking outback graces the cover brings a foreboding sense of danger and warning. This coincides with a band that sound like they have put every ounce of guts, sweat, and urgency into their earthy, heavy soulful stoner rock. This is my first taste of Kitchen Witch and they mean business. And if you are wondering where they got their band name from, then for your interest a Kitchen Witch is a homemade doll resembling a stereotypical witch.
The quartet of vocalist Georgia Cosson, guitarist Conor Kinsella, bassist Simon Elliot, and John Russo on the drums brew up a stormy brew of distorted fuzzy, bluesy hard rock riffage, and plenty of gutsy Janis Joplin vibes. Combined, they form a sound that has an infectious energy, a tight rhythmic bounce, a raw gritty looseness, and impressive swaggering hard rock grooves.
It is this straight up rocking energy, along with a bountiful of tempo changes, and Georgia’s spirited vocal range which keeps the album fresh and has an enjoyable confident swagger.
Yes, the opening ‘Lost’ begins like Kyuss bursting onto the scene via the aid of a tornado, before it settles down and a swinging hypnotic fuzzy groove allows room for Georgia to exercise those tonsils. It progresses to recall Blues Pills if they were from the hot n sweaty outback performing in a dirty, oily garage just out of photo shot from the bespoke album cover.
There are plenty of unfussy but effective down n dirty bluesy riffs by Conor, exemplified on the spirited raw strut of ‘Cave of Mischief’ and the atmospheric rocking at midnight ‘Many Moons’. And just as they seem to be getting to grips with one tempo they change the gears, cue ‘Sunrise’ as they display their doomy chops allowing Georgia to flex her vocal range before they’re off galloping at speed across the desert plains. It is this varied attitude to tempos that prevents Kitchen Witch from being just another meat ‘n’ potatoes blues infused stoner rock band.
In fact, Earth and Ether grows with every play and has plenty of nuances to nudge itself out from the busy gathering crowd. If you wondered what you might get if you put Kyuss and Blues Pills in the blender with The Kills, then Kitchen Witch might be the answer you were looking for.