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Album Review: Whatever Witch You Are by Dead Heavens

Stoner/Blues Psych act Dead Heavens released their debut album, Whatever Witch You Are, on 23rd June via Dine Alone Records. Supergroup is a term that gets banded about unnecessarily, but Dead Heavens are a group worth of the title, featuring guitarist and vocalist 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).

The band started out life as Walter Schreifels’ backing band during the 2013 tour with Nathan Aguilar on bass and Drew Thomas on drums. Upon returning from the tour Aguilar acquainted Schreifels and Thomas with the owner of Thunderdome Studios, Paul Kostabi. It was at these studios the quartet started jamming and recording ideas together, and with Kostabi’s massive collection of 70’s recording reels from the likes of The James Gang, Sabbath, and Hendrix running in between takes the inspiration began to flow. 2015 saw the band officially turn into Dead Heavens and become a fully-fledged band.

Taking the band member’s pedigree, it’s not the sound that you’d expect, but it’s a sound they excel at. Combining elements of stoner rock, blues and old fashioned hard rock it’s an enjoyable record that will have mass appeal. Clocking in at just shy of 35 minutes it’s not an album that will require much of your time, it gently ingrains itself with luscious guitar licks infiltrating your subconscious without you realising. It’s one of those records that you fall in love without realising.

It’s a record that deceives. On the first few listens you could be forgiven for thinking it’s nothing special. It’s not an album with standout tracks, rather they take their time, unrushed and gradual. By the time you get onto your third or fourth listen you’re beginning to think ‘where did this storming album come from?’. Once you hit that point you can then revel in the excellent swagger of Dead Heavens and tracks like ‘Bad Luck Child’, ‘Gold Tooth’ and ‘Basic Cable’ will become firm favourites.

Perhaps we’re a little biased as Walter Schreifels could do no wrong in our eyes. Dead Heavens definitely hasn’t changes that.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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