Saturday 8 July 2017

Dead Heavens - Whatever Witch You Are (Album Review)

Release date: June 16th 2017. Label: Dine Alone Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Whatever Witch You Are – Tracklisting

Rainbow Of The Ohm Chart
Basic Cable
Away From The Speed
Bad Luck Child
The Moon Will Listen (But Not The Sun)
Adderall Highway
Gold Tooth
Silver Sea
Experience To Liberate

Band Members:

Walter Schreifels
Drew Thomas
Paul Kostabi
Nathan Aguilar


Dead Heavens is the latest group featuring these talented individuals. Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools), guitarist Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie), drummer Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Into Another, Bold) and bass guitarist Nathan Aguilar (Cults). I'm not gonna call this band a supergroup as that would be an insult to their talents and to Dead Heavens overall.

Dead Heavens play a dark twisted version of Psychedelic Rock which includes elements of Classic Rock and Stoner Rock.

Their debut album - Whatever Witch You Are - is quite a creative album with the band playing Dark Rock tinged Psych Stoner Rock magic. The songs are catchy and straight to the point with Dead Heavens creating heavy moments of noisy psychedelia. The sound is a mixture of psych rock, hard rock with modern dark rock sounds. Though Dead Heavens take influence from the classic hard rock bands of the sixties and seventies. I've seen these guys called Black Sabbath jamming with Cream and that is a very good description indeed.

Opening track - Rainbow Of The Ohm Chart - is a forty second heavy instrumental track which doesn't offer anything new or exciting though that all changes with the excellent second track - Basic Cable. This song is played at a deliberate slow pace with the band creating heavy psych moments that contains quite a gloomy stoner vibe. The lyrics are playful and sweet but with a darker meaning behind them. Walter impresses the most with his great vocals. The song becomes distinctively heavier for the final few moments and it shows that the band know how to play heavier sounds if the mood calls for it.

Third track - Away From The Speed - has a more Indie Rock/Garage Rock feel but the band still retain their dark psychedelic rock identity. It's quite an addictive sound with almost commercial pop-rock edge. The lyrics make the song something more deliciously darker than that.

Fourth track - Bad Luck Child - is one of the albums standout tracks with swirls of punk driven psychedelic rock seeing the band changing their style of music again. It's quite groovy in a sixties kind of way. The second half of the album follows the same path with Dead Heavens showing a keen interest in more experimental sounds especially on songs such as: The Moon Listen (But Not The Sun), Adderall Highway and the standout nine minute track - Gold Tooth.

Whatever Witch You Are is an intriguing and action packed album despite the short thirty four minute time. It's expertly produced and offers a refreshing take on the standard Psych/Stoner Rock template.

Words by Steve Howe