After the impact of the heat starts to pull me under like quicksand into the depths of hell, I struggle to find some form of embrace from a cold shelter that will free me of all the overbearing heat. I’ve searched high and low for ice crystals that could stick to my body to cool me down in seconds and I’ve been looking for those large icebergs that sunk the Titanic many years ago so I can slap my face across them multiple times until it shatters the heat waves. With no luck in the last couple months, I’ve decided that I’ll have to give up and welcome the hell-like heat with open arms. As I look for a small comfortable blanket to snuggle up with as the sun blisters me with it’s waves of satanic joy, I was presented with a warm, southern record called “Single Malt”, the crushing record from the intense sludge metal project that goes by the name Iron Witch. Some may describe this record as joyful, demanding or irresistible but for me, it’s simple and plain. “Single Malt” is a raging fire ball that’s full of heart attacks, scorching heat that’ll burn your tongue like acid and leave you begging for water as it pounds your face until it’s black and blue.
“Single Malt” may seem like a whiskey soaked southern NOLA record and in many ways it is but don’t get it twisted because Iron Witch is actually from Liverpool, England, not the United States of Assholes. Five blistering hot tracks that cover the length of a little under twenty-five minutes, you can bet your bottom dollar that if this record disappoints you at all, I’ll be highly surprised and that goes for anyone that digs some groovy tunes. Even though “Single Malt” does have an overwhelming aura of sludge and stoner influence it still has other genres of music that influences it. From the unique vocal corruption that provide you with this punk/hardcore sense that everything around this band will crumble into ash with each scream to the minute an a half feedback section on the track “Booze Blues”. To my surprise, the riffs on this record and the structure as a whole are pretty original and not overused by any means. We could get into a whole haymaker of things about riffs and patterns but I won’t go that far. I will go as far as to say that the opening riff of the track “Single Malt” heavily reminds me of For Whom The Bell Tolls from the almighty Metallica when they used to make me cream in my sleep, only Iron Witches is a ton slower and filled with attitude.
As the picture to the right says Iron Witch has been “tying up bitches since 1977” and the more I listen to this record, I can’t help but believe that the statement provided is very, very true. With each listen I gain something more and it’s nothing small either, the first time I listened to this record I learned that “Single Malt” might be the keeping something from me. The second listen I learned that these bastards sure can keep hidden gems within each riff and each section of a record. It’s a never-ending, pulverize you in the face massacre that only few will be able to keep up with in the end.
Let’s just say this, if this record was Cross Edge, it would be nearly impossible to complete 100% but since it’s not, you get to enjoy the luxury of a great record with twists and turns around every corner. Why compare it to a video game? “Single Malt” has similar characteristics that Cross Edge has. It’s visually pleasure with how it sets a mood inside your brain, the combat you get from the record is fast yet very comfortable and the style of the overall layout is something that you could gaze at for hours on end. See, you can compare nearly anything to something else, just as long as you understand the point of view the other person is trying to portray.
The final verdict is simple, I’m very pleased and satisfied with how this record come out in the end. Each track opened a new gate to a universe that was well presented yet not overbearing and although certain tracks did overshadow others, the end was as if the Fourth of July exploded inside my very fat body. Iron Witch is bringing new waves of NOLA style influence to the U.K. and if I have any choice whether I want to support it or not, I’ll be on the front steps with signs that say “TYING UP BITCHES SINCE 1977”.
Listen to “A .45 To Pay The Rent” below: