LIVE: The Wytches – The Harley, Sheffield

If a case had to be made for the return of surf-music to our radios, then the Wytches’ is an unconventional but convincing one.

Since signing to Heavenly Recordings the Brighton three piece have been like a wrecking ball, tearing up the UK music scene on their rise to fame.

The Wytches’ output gets described as ‘surf psych’ , something that could not been more fitting.

They sound like the psychotic alter-ego of the Beach Boys, had they existed in an alternate reality where surf-pop was made by the scruffy gothic types, who don’t like going outside.

What’s really intriguing and infectious about the Wytches sound though is the juxtaposition between the surf guitar riffs and bass tones and menacing shrieking vocals, like the B52s meets Nirvana.

So what did they have in store for the Harley? Set opener ‘Digsaw’ instantly fuelled a high that this audience were not coming down from till way after the beach-doom vibe of this set rang out of their ears.

It is was a set that progressed and flowed seamlessly, the entire time there is an impending sense of chaos, this could be the soundtrack to a nightmare, but one you never want to end.

We knew frontman Kristian Bell was there, although we barley saw him behind long hair and glazed eyes, he spoke just a few times to thank the crowd for coming.

‘Burn Out the Bruise’,’Gravedweller’ and ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ maintained an energy that electrified the Sheffield venue, the latter was as close as this band will get to a dance floor anthem – provoking crowd surfing from some watching.

Things took a slightly more melodic and mellow turn for penultimate track ‘Weights and Ties’ showcasing that Bell has more in his locker than simply shrieking venom.

If you thought this band sounded raw on their debut album Annabel Dream Reader, this was something else. These guys ripped out the gizzards out of their album tracks and painted the walls of the Harley with them.

The Wytches look and sound like they should have a rain cloud hanging over them, a dark gothic aura is evident in every move they make, they epitomises a type of dark chaos, that you just need to be involved in.

Will De Nardo

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