By Andrew Hunter
Annabel Dream Reader
I really loved this album, probably my favourite of 2014 if I being totally honest, and not just because it came with free stickers. It was because it had something different, a raw sound, a “I don’t care what anybody thinks” attitude about it, a band just doing their own thing. Annabel Dream Reader has an aggression and punk feeling to it, but with much more hidden beneath. The overdrive filled, fuzzy guitars and screaming vocals of lead singer Kristain Bell create this dark world that you can get lost in, you could spend hours trying to figure out the lyrics. With a name like The Wytches you might think it sounds a bit supernatural … no not that show your sister watches, I mean it in the classic sense of the word. Maybe a bad choice of words, it gets a bit paranormal, the album has a dark sound to it. It’s the soundtrack to a first date- if your first date with someone is in a graveyard, and you discover you’re falling for them, but ultimately you break up. It has a romance for the macabre, a little bit of The Misfits to it in parts.
Annabel Dream Reader hits you straight from the off with “digsaw” and “wide at midnight”. It has such dark shadowy songs like “Burn out the bruise”. It’s not just fast paced songs and heavy tunes, the slowed down “Summer Again” with it’s howling vocals and whaling guitars, bleeds emotion. “wire frame mattress” makes me think of The Wipers, but there is so much going on in this album with influences and it’s depth, little subtleties within songs that make them that much more special, that you might not notice on the first listen, but it has an over all horror vibe to it. It really does take you on a journey, from the noise filled opening of “digsaw” to the close of the somber “track 13”.
If I had to describe The Wytches to a person who sadly had never heard Annabel Dream Reader, I would probably say, think if Arctic Monkeys had listened to Nirvana and Black Sabbath more and put out a record- possibly because of the influence of co producer Billy Ryder-Jones, former Coral guitarist and Arctic Monkeys collaborator. But I don’t want a comparison to take away from The Wytches; they really are doing their own thing and it sounds amazing.
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