8/10 Clinton Staff review, 18 January 2013
Matador...Matador???? Just another example of how, despite having somehow reached the age of 40, I know utterly nothing. My life is a series of terrible mistakes and unfortunate events. I am tempted to adopt the George from Seinfeld trick of doing the opposite of what I think is the right thing to do in the hope that things might just work out that way.
Anyway silly old me thought that Esben and the Witch were folky, they are not. They are generally in a noisy shoegaze bracket. Maybe its the fact they have witch in their name. Oh and they are on Matador. I’m not exactly sure of how that happened but anyway...opener ‘Iceland Spar’ (two of my favourite low budget supermarkets) is a blast of dark shoegaze, as if The Cure had borrowed Sugar’s guitars for a bit and gone mental...and had a female singer. ‘Slow Wave’ is even more gothy, with late night eerie textures that recall Bauhaus and anyone who has used the ‘goth’ effect on their guitars.
In a previous review of this band, Dave invented a musical genre for this band, Black Lace, in that the music is all dark and floaty. It sums it up, as if Stevie Nicks had joined Siouxsie and the Banshees for the day. ‘When That Head Splits’ is a much more lively offering that strangely lasts all of 40 seconds. I’m sort of reminded of North East dreamers Lanterns On The Lake, if you took away all the folky nautical stuff and replaced it with darker hues of gothy pop, there is something similar in the general polished floatiness of sound.
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- Wash The Sins Not Only The Face by Esben And The Witch
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