Apparently WTCHS had recorded one version of this album but scrapped it and went back, making the songs longer and noisier. Good choice on both counts. On ‘She Walks, She Creeps’ we find the group in a much grimmer, hellish place than before, and with a name like WTCHS I would think that is exactly where you’d want to be. The dark, sinister mood is aided by the epic prog-rock length of the songs, which gives the gnashing guitars more room to breathe and allows more time for the industrial atmosphere to seep under the listener’s skin.
There is less psychedelia in the eerie and distant vocals, replaced instead with a punkish sneer. The singer lurks in the background and sneers in the dark as the guitars clang, swoop and boom in their giddy swirl of post-rock doom and gloom. There may not be as much of a groove to the music as before but that’s no great loss as there is more of a cavernous grandeur as we are transported into a terrifying underworld. This is particularly evident on the longer numbers, such as “Black Actors”, which features an ambient/drone intro before descending into a gothic nightmare, or “Choke Bored”, which is noticeably less heavy but no less chilling with its disturbingly eerie vocals.
Although there is more snarl and bite to this album, WTCHS by no means abandon their math tendencies as these elements are always incorporated into the musical progressions. Furthermore, there are moments such as the centre section of “Whitney At The Rifle Range” where the music breaks away from the UK-style punk singing and launches into a very mathy/prog passage. Then again there are tracks like “You Own Your Bones” with its simple two-chord intro, where the boys sound way more hardcore than anything else.
There may be those who will pine for the more melodic and hippie-groovy sounds of previous WTCHS releases, but for our money this is a step in the right direction. ‘She Walks, She Creeps’ drags us to hell, and we go willingly, intoxicated by its dark allure. In fact, it’s bewitching.