[16 February 2011]
Between 1996 and 2006, the Witches painted Detroit’s thriving rock scene a delicious shade of black. Led by Troy Gregory, former thrash-metal bassist with Flotsam and Jetsam, a rotating cast of members plucked from some of Michigan’s finest garage bands—including the Sights’ ex-drummer Eugene Strobe on guitar, band producer Jim Diamond on electric 12-string and Outrageous Cherry bandmates Deb Agolli and Matthew Smith—shrouded their love of ‘60s beat, lysergic garage-punk and ‘70s glam in a sludgy cloak of echo-laden vocals, fuzz, reverb and oscillating organ.
Book-ended by two previously unreleased numbers, “Everyone’s the Greatest” (a hip-shaker worth the price of admission in itself) and “Creepin Thru Yer Galaxy”, and lifting tracks from all five of the band’s albums—even their unissued debut LP, Everything Changes Reality—A Haunted Person’s Guide is a perfect introduction to the Witches’ work. Among the numerous highlights are two songs taken from 2001’s Universal Mall: the Standells-meet-guitar-shredding-stoner-rock on “People What’s Wrong With You” and the ghostly psychedelic carousel of “(She Got Some Kinda) Thing”.
This is devilishly good music that should be filed on your shelf alongside the Soft Boys.