“Maybe in the morning you can heal my eyesight!” cries Kristian Bell with the intent of ripping the vocal cords from his very neck. We’re halfway through The Wytches return to Bristol. It’s heated, emotional and probably the greatest gig of my year so far.
Yet another of those messy Friday nights at the Exchange, we’re throwing ourselves into one another from start to end, shouting the lyrics into any ears that will take them. The Brighton doom trio were born for sold-out little rooms like this, sweat dripping off the walls, crowd surfing, stage diving, beer flying.
The thing is, they’ve got the tunes to justify this heavy approach, and unlike many other bands, its not all noise reliant; they pull it off just as well in an acoustic capacity. Bitter anthems like ‘Summer Again’ prove this with effortless flair tonight. We’re treated to the whole debut album as well as a few murky B-sides such as ‘Darkness’ and ‘The Holy Tightrope’. The three barely spill a word of chat from start to end, keeping the intensity potent.
Standout tracks like ‘Gravedweller’ and ‘Robe For Juda’ make sure that the turmoil doesn’t dwindle. Someone even dislocates their kneecap, it all gets a bit gnarly ‘dude’. Ending on ‘Crying Clown’, the song embodies just about everything this band stand for; deep calculated lyrics, sinister guitars and an utter climax of thrashing energy.
It feels like I’ve written about this band an awful lot since they first emerged with their early singles, I can only put that down to one main thing. They’re definitive, something which so many new bands struggle to find as they get lost a sea of influences. The Wytches are very much their own entity.
Check out ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ right here: