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Whatever J Mascis turns his hand to at the moment, great things result. Witch is something on the side from Dinosaur Jr (although the phrase ‘side project’ is frowned upon), and sees him pounding drums instead of melting lead guitar amplifiers. With Dave Sweetapple on bass and vocals, and Kyle Thomas on guitar, Witch come across like the ADHD child of Black Sabbath and the Smashing Pumpkins – there is no subtlety to anything – the drums are thrashed to within an inch of their lives, the bass is fuzzed up and punky, the guitar shreds like a raging 70s dinosaur.

The sound is determinedly lo-fi – it’s almost as if the engineer threw in one microphone to the rehearsal room and stood back to protect his ears – but that adds to the live, raw feel. Paralyzed doesn’t sound like an album that was polished, or even over-rehearsed, and that fits its vibe. It is organic in its hostility – these elder gentlemen play like angry 17-year olds in a garage. If a fuzzed-til-it-screams sonic wall is what you’re looking for, Paralyzed delivers in spades.

-Mike Rea, http://www.contactmusic.com

DOWNLOAD:
Witch-PARALYZED (2008)
320kbps MP3

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