Witch - Paralyzed (Cover Artwork)


Witch: ParalyzedParalyzed (2008)
Tee Pee

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When your bass player's name is Dave Sweetapple, you know you've got some potential for hard rockin'. And when your guitar players come from a "freak folk collective," you've got some potential for interesting guitar parts. And when J. Mascis is your drummer, then fuck man, that shit's gonna be thun.
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When your bass player's name is Dave Sweetapple, you know you've got some potential for hard rockin'. And when your guitar players come from a "freak folk collective," you've got some potential for interesting guitar parts. And when J. Mascis is your drummer, then fuck man, that shit's gonna be thunderin'. Ever since the sweet bygone era of Deep Wound, Mascis has been one of the most innovative and forceful -- not to mention fast -- drummers to forsake their instrument to play over the top guitar solos in a boring indie rock band. Well, definitely boring in comparison to the ferocity of Deep Wound.

When I heard that Mascis was jumping on the throwback metal train, I was stoked. The popularity of the genre can only bring more commercial appeal to labels like Tee Pee, who've consistently put out classic metal albums in the run of their existence. And shit, who doesn't like a nice, heavy groove? Witch's debut release provided just that. Solid, heavy grooves. A nice classic feel, some powerful drums and heavy rhythms. Killer lead guitar lines by my man Asa Irons. Interesting songwriting by Kyle Thomas. The whole package tilted to spooky doom metal with its forcefully slow tempos. It was a set-up for something potentially awesome. I felt that the sophomore release could only do better.

Oh, how I was wrong.

Citing Mascis' tendency to rush songs while playing live, songwriter Thomas admittedly decided to try and write fast songs in the first place. Big mistake. The album opens with some ripping dual guitar intro licks, badass Motörhead basslines, intense drumming, throwaway semi-abstract lyrics (the best kind for metal, because then it won't distract you from the killer guitars), and some seriously fucking awesome guitar soloing. Okay, let's be honest. The song sounds like the B-side to Motörhead's "Ace of Spades" with some abstract guitar soloing in strange key signatures, sort of like Slayer. But that's where the awesomeness of fast tempos ends.

The follower, "Gone" is a mid-tempo droner, almost a return to form. It's the semi-melodic tune that metal bands always throw in the mix for variety. Which means its neither good nor bad. But necessary. "1000 Mph," "Space God" and "Mutated," however, are sheer parodies of themselves. Speeding up the riffs makes for crappy cock rock that gets overshadowed by horrendous lyrics like "One thousand miles an hour, she's a speed demon," "I'm leaving town, and I don't know where I'm going," and "Got nowhere to go, society twisting me." It's almost painful to listen to them.

But that's fine, 'cause "Disappear" is a strong, driving hard rock tune and "Sweet Sue" is their version of a ballad, a heavy, slurring tribute to some sort of lady. "Psychotic Rock" is a droning slow, simple lurching song of mental disturbance, and it's pretty fucking great too. The album closes out with the swinging "Old Trap Line," taking everything that's great about heavy music -- painfully slow tempos, thick rhythms and interesting guitar lines. When Witch is on, they're fucking on.

The album feels schizophrenic, but I guess that's obvious. Some really interesting songs that could garner a great review are absolutely tainted by three bad ones. But that shouldn't bring down the quality of the individual songs themselves.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
billnye (March 22, 2008)

you sir, are stupid as fuck.

oskorei (March 21, 2008)

hell i always thought Dinosaur Jr was just one of those bands that no one really listened to and boring indie rock kids claimed to like to try and garner some cred.

greg0rb (March 20, 2008)

Yeah, Jesse I must say I'm with the crowd here. Dinosaur Jr has taken a firm hold as one of my favorite bands of all time, and dissin them will earn ya a smack upside the head when I see you next! BAM. Deep Wound is good, Dino is amaaaazing.

HonestAbe (March 20, 2008)

Mascis slays on the guitar. If you ever get a chance to see Dinosaur Jr. live you'd be really impressed.

A lot better than this crap, by no means boring indie rock

DrGunn (March 19, 2008)

not bad for a beginner, keep trying.

sugarfull (March 19, 2008)

Jesu is so boring compared to Napalm Death.

Did I do this meme right?

DrGunn (March 19, 2008)

shellac is so dull after big black!

billnye (March 19, 2008)

dude have you listened to minor threat? fugazi is a snoozefest compared to them!!!

DrGunn (March 19, 2008)

i like deep wound, but that don't make dino boring. i can think of few records more exhilerating than you're living all over me.

xote (March 19, 2008)

This new album is pretty boring. The first one was sweet. And DJR is one of the best bands EVER.

jesse (March 19, 2008)

Jeez you people. Listen to Deep Wound. Dinosaur Jr. is a snore fest compared to Deep Wound, which is exactly what the line says.

If you're unaquainted with the Wound, you might want to go here.

DrGunn (March 18, 2008)

dinosaur is boring?

Branden (March 18, 2008)

so sean, i guess you got no need for this


sfbarker (March 18, 2008)

Dude, J is a pretty killer drummer. Just listen to all the major label Dinosaur albums...hell, Murph said he was pretty sure J was redoing his drum parts from the beginning of the band because he was so meticulous on their sound. He's solid.

thus_spoke_sean (March 18, 2008)

i haven't listened to this yet. but i just don't understand why J. Mascis is a "draw" on the drums. Why would i want to listen to one of my favorite guitar players play a different instrument that he's not as good at? I also wouldn't be interested in watching him play video games, or do math problems, or make diner.

theyounginfluential (March 18, 2008)

i agree...completely unfounded

sfbarker (March 18, 2008)

All cred is gone with the boring line...wow...

MattRamone (March 18, 2008)

Score is for Witches With Dicks.

osloboditelj (March 18, 2008)

Did you seriously just call Dinosaur Jr boring?

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