Wednesday 30 October 2013

The Witch Hunt - Army Man

Single review by

Halloween's become just as bad as Christmas when it comes to usually credible bands degrading themselves by releasing "special" singles for the occasion. Either novelty rubbish or an ironic cover of some cheesy crap as a rule, but that needn't be the case. You might think that a band called The Witch Hunt releasing an EP called 'The Little Book Of Hate' on October 31st might fall into that category, but you'd be very wrong. This Leeds duo aren't a one-off creation for a cash-in, in fact we featured their last single 'Crawl' when it was released in the totally non-spooky month of April. They simply have this name. 'The Little Book Of Hate' isn't filled with clich├ęd horror tales or pantomime shock tactics either; it is, as we should expect from these two, some very fine alt-rock with no obvious connection to its release date.

Now that our anti-cash-in rant is over, let's check out lead single 'Army Man'. This is certainly dark and menacing, because that's how these guys sound in general. This track is like a slowly approaching menace; a tsunami going at half speed. All the force, all the power and all the atmosphere is here, but it's delivered in a way that makes it sound all the more ominous, and this is because there is no shock, it won't surprise you; from the opening notes you can hear the bewitching percussion and the groaning guitars and you know exactly what's in store. It's this technique rather than any surprise tactics that add an extra air of stunning bleakness to the track. The vocals are strong and a real asset, the lyrics are totally free of vampires or skeletons and the music is surprisingly complex and carefully pieced together. This will beat any of the plastic pap hands-down if you want something that captures the real essence of horror.

The Witch Hunt's website

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

Oct 31 Wharf Chambers, Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 01 The Coliseum, Whitby, United Kingdom
Nov 15 Spanky Van Dyke's, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nov 23 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, United Kingdom

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