“Expect 30-something minutes of reverb,” L.A. Witch frontwoman/guitarist Sade Sanchez has said of her band’s debut release. The L.A. music scene has long gone stale, but with this kind of raw music coming out today, Hollywood could raise itself back up to some kind of music-industry distinction.
L.A. Witch, "Heart of Darkness"
- Friday, December 22, 2017, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
The West Coast has always owned a sound of its own. And the rock music came with a vibe that changed everything and everybody, from the way we danced and talked to the way we dressed. There is good argument that modern rock and roll began — and ended — in San Francisco in 1967.
Reeling on the edge of cliché, what salvages L.A. Witch is their live show. It’s got way more energy than their recording. The Witches are a power trio with Irita Pai on bass, guitarist/frontwoman Sanchez, and drummer Ellie English. Sanchez and English knew each other from high school in the San Fernando Valley. But the band started with a different drummer named Crystal Nava. Nava, as the story goes, went to New York and never came back. Enter English.
L.A. Witch calls out Black Sabbath as their de facto mentor band, but I hear more along the lines of Johnny Cash with stinging power chords. It’s all there, something for every age group, from the heavy guitar and unsympathetic girl-rock vocals à la Grace Slick, to a light show that could have illumined the Doors when they played the Avalon Ballroom.
Whether a hardened member of generation peace-and-love or a newcomer to vinyl who thinks this garage-band sound began with the Gun Club or Joan Jett, it’s all there in an L.A. Witch show. Disposable retro rock? Oh, hell yes. But what reputable rocker cares about tomorrow?
Prettiest Eyes and the Mad Walls also perform.