Our Guest Can't Be Named by The Wytches

Release date: September 22, 2023
Label: Alcopop! Records

When The Wytches first emerged out of the waves onto Brighton beach about a decade ago, their bizarre blend of doom and surf rock, drenched in a delicious psychedelic coating, confounded and amazed in equal measures. But by the time we get to here, Our Guest Can’t Be Named, the magic has apparently dried up, the listless collection of ideas seemingly trying to squeeze every last drop out of this unique combination.

It all starts so promisingly, too. The opening salvo of ‘Zep Step’ and lead single ‘Maria’ shimmer with a dark brightness, the distorted doom-laden riffs twanging with the flanger/reverb sweetness of the crashing breakers. Kristian Bell’s sorrowful wails drift in over the top like lost souls searching for relief, the result an atmosphere that is both bleak, yet somehow jaunty at the same time.


From there however, Our Guest Can’t Be Named becomes ever more morose, and ever more bland. The life is sucked out of the songs, leaving plodding dirges that couldn’t be further from the twisted joy of graveyard girls swinging a bag like a pendulum. The descent into twee indie is painful, and upsetting.

A little more fire is found again by the end of the record, as ‘Bill Blood’ stretches its legs in a rather menacing manner. This puts into relief just how insipid the middle raft of Our Guest Can’t Be Named is, how bereft the music now is of the fizzing fun and strange ideas The Wytches once had, these brief flashes unable to rescue the frustrating, disappointing offering.

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