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Witch Hunt

Burning Bridges to Nowhere


August 10th, 2009 · post by Mikey · Make a comment

Record label: Alternative Tentacles

It is a rare thing for a band in 2009 to remain contemporary and interesting yet also have a clear influence from the past 20 to 30 years of punk but Philadelphia’s Witch Hunt are just such a band. They’ve played together for several years now, releasing both EPs and albums to much acclaim, but they have now stepped up and revealed themselves to be, in my opinion, one of the best hardcore punk bands of recent years.

Scathing, furious and intelligent, Witch Hunt’s sound is an interesting amalgamation of several different eras of punk and hardcore – in terms of ’similar’ sounding bands fans of Ballast, later Harum Scarum and Born Dead will enjoy a lot here. But to be honest it has now reached the point where Witch Hunt sound only like Witch Hunt.

Although maybe slightly less raging than previous record Blood Red States, Burning Bridges to Nowhere is still an incredibly angry record, just one which shows a little more restraint and melody and it is this edge which gives it a bit of a classic ‘peace punk/anarcho punk’ vibe with some sections evoking the likes of The Mob or Zounds with their clean, lilting guitars and half-sung, half-spoken vocals.

In terms of songwriting Witch Hunt have managed to create 12 tracks which are intricate and interesting. They may take a few listens to really sink in but they’re worth the effort. There’s lots of awesome interplay between the guitars and rhythm section, the production really helps this with the record sounding (in the best sense) like a band playing together in a room and the general ‘flow’ of the album sustains well.

The lyrics work on a theme of world-weary despondency, often being based around the uninspiring greyness of everyday life which is a really refreshing and a welcome relief to some of the more over the top sentiments that can be expressed by bands of a similar ilk.

Favourite tracks can be a tricky one to pick out as the whole album flows so nicely; but ‘Everyday’, with it’s melancholy guitar lines and catchy chorus, stands out as my favourite track of the album. But the trio of ‘Septa Death’, ‘Silence’ and ‘Void’ is also pretty amazing and I’m still hearing new moments in each of the songs. Witch Hunt have produced an incredibly accomplished record and also one which is very honest and I can only hope it goes on to introduce them to new fans. They’re about to undertake an epic tour of Europe so if you have the chance I would go and see them!

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