Witches with Dicks - American Railroads [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Witches with Dicks

American Railroads [7 inch] (2007)

Kiss of Death / Shock to the System

Hey now, here's something I can get into. Take really gruff post-punk vocals and pair it with good and simple pop-punk arrangements and you get Witches With Dicks. Despite the band's unfortunate name (shouldn't it just be Wizards?), Witches with Dicks deserve to have their records added to the collections of anybody into bands such as Screeching Weasel and Dillinger Four.

American Railroads is the followup to the band's first full-length Manual. It's certainly a suitable followup and one that will leave any fan of their previous work happy. At first listen, Witches with Dicks might come off as an inferior Dillinger Four (but c'mon, even an inferior Dillinger Four can be pretty good), but after spending some time with American Railroads it becomes clear that while Witches with Dicks certainly aren't trailblazers as far as genre-defying records go, they are good at what they do and they manage to have a ton of fun in the process. Having the entire group take part in vocal duties adds a lot to the feeling that the band love creating music together and also provides some variety in vocal delivery. Their songs are short, hard and poppy enough to maintain any accessibility necessary to allow the listener to become hooked at first listen. Don't venture too far from your record player, though, because this one's over almost as soon as it gets started -- the first song, "Felix Havoc's Boots" is only ten seconds long, however, both "Next of Skin" and "Second Chance" break the minute mark.

Although Witches with Dicks don't take themselves too seriously, their subject matter isn't fluffy. They fall somewhere in between singing about breakups and singing about anarchy, stopping often for moments of reflection and self-criticism.

Those of you without a record player are out of luck: This one's only on vinyl.