8 December 2008

Witch Hats

Cellulite Soul
In-Fidelity, 2008

There is something inside of me that is rotten. It's what made me enjoy cough syrup too much as a child and what makes me drink more than I should on weeknights. It's why there are scars all over my body and tears in my clothes. It's violent and petulant and it's the reason that I love Cellulite Soul. Witch Hats appeared three years ago with a noisy demo and a giant fuck-you of a song called 'Jock The Untold' – the kind of song that spat in your direction and then sneered with contempt when you wondered why. It had a bass line heavier than a lead pipe and nonsense lines like "your sh-shit it sh-shivers in the moonlight!" snarled out between crashes of noise.

Cellulite Soul is an entire record's worth of that song, and it is fucking wonderful. Every smack of the drums and crash of the cymbals is a jab at the juvenile little brat inside me. Guitars are played like they're to be tossed out after each song; harmonies are sung like a protest cry. It is pop music from the junkyard of human emotion – grimy, angry and loud as a bomb blast. Formed in Melbourne by a bunch of kids from Tasmania – Duncan Blachford and brothers Kris and Ash Buscombe, with second guitarist Tomas Barry coming later – Witch Hats take inspiration from the swamp-rock bands of Australian music history. You can catch glimpses of Beasts Of Bourbon and Scientists in their racket.

The very best song on Cellulite Soul is a short but fiery tantrum at the end, a track called 'Doors Film' that opens with a blast of childish dissent. "I DON'T WANNA GO TO SCHOOL TODAY!," one of the Buscombes screams, backed up by the rest of the band brandishing their instruments like makeshift weapons. It is a protest against everything and nothing, a celebration of saying "no", and it sounds like whatever you dislike most being torn apart. 2008 has been an excellent year for local music. For whatever reason, or perhaps just coincidence, my favourite albums have all explored the darker side of things – those feelings not expressed in day to day life. In that sense, Witch Hats represent rage. If you've ever been pissed off about something that you couldn't change, this record is for you.

This column is part of a three-week series on the best local releases of the year.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review. You've captured how that album makes me feel.