The terms death-rock and post- rock have been tossed around frequently, but seldom earned. I am as much to blame as anyone, an addict by nature, there is the need to re-capture that feeling I found the first time I popped "Only Theater of Pain" into my Walkman. The insanity is there can only be one first time....Thanks for sharing. Anasazi have come the closest as any to taking me back there with their new lp "Nasty Witch Rock". Rozz Williams always said they were punks who liked Halloween and these guys have taken those words to heart. They stir up a chaotic cauldron of halloweenish punk recalling the Birthday Party rather than Christian Death. The lo-fi production causes things like backing vocals to become buried. It sounds like the band is trying to capture their live sound. The guitar on this album rings out with a more Cramps like warmth .
The rumbling garage rock of "Doors of Void" is a reckless collision of guitars. The vocal shout below the echo of it all. Perhaps they are slightly more sung than the bands previous efforts. The death-rock bass doesn't rise from it's grave until "Ash Wednesday". Anasazi seems to drinking from the same bottle as Iceage, from the slurred stumble this song takes. They are without question much darker than the Danish punks. It's not until "Hallelujah/ Memba Me"that the dynamics take a shift from the dirty punk that drips of last night's rock n roll to a more dissonant driving. Aside from "Ash Wednesday" they don't decorate the songs with the sounds you might associate with death-rock, but the attitude of the L.A. underground is there.
The vocals take on a crazed sneer falling somewhere in-between Jello Biafra and Lux Interior on two burst of "Black Leather Curse." 'Maniac in the Mirror bring's out the creepy, serving as one of the albums darkest moments. It should make all denizens of the bat cave pleased. They coast along the darkness with " Morbid Native', female vocals take care of the verses with the lead singer inciting the riot back to life on the choruses.Overall this album touches a place other bands haven't. The intentionally rough production took a little warming up to, but the album demands repeat listens as it has both the heart and the attitude needed to carry the torch, which in the end justifies the band leaving some of the other trappings behind. I'll round it up to a 9.5>