It's tough being a young gigging guitar band in 2014.

You have no nationwide 'event' shows such as Top Of The Pops to give a simple hit of cherished exposure to the nation. Then there is the problem of what you can do that has not already been done with a guitar, bass, vocals and drums. The Wytches (from Peterborough via Brighton) score an own goal before they have even started with the band name which stinks of bad goth. That should not put anyone off from this masterful 47 minutes which elevates way beyond their diverse influences. Malevolent, psychotic surf rock riffs are the obvious reference point throughout, but always with a twisted psychedelic aura and an undercurrent of vocal acrimony. The production is sparse and intimidating; like White Stripes force-fed Come On Pilgrim-era Pixies. The tunes have their own agenda, from the demented pop thrill that is Beehive Queen to the mesmerising single Wire Frame Mattress which combines the best of At The Drive In, Nirvana and The Tornadoes in a four-minute masterstroke. It's a must-have album.

Martin Williams

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