Obviously no fans of the digital age, Canada’s WTCHS only offered their first EP on tape originally; making great pains to say the songs were meant to be listened on tape. In truth, they probably have a point since the no-frills production values certainly suits a primitive format. Thankfully, though, there’s more than a few flickers of talent lurking amongst the raw materials too.
Thick, sludgy guitars and rhythms usher in demonic vocals for the opener ‘Parties Of Three’. The track resembles The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and there’s even a few seconds of melody at the end of the song. Tunes are in much greater supply for the excellent two minute anti-anthem ‘Adult Crimes’, which marries the band’s muddy, grinding rock to some infectious chord changes and an insistent drive towards a chorus. A slightly longer (by one second) ‘Hot Mexican’ is the next offering. Here, the blood-curdling howls and intense rhythms call to mind early Liars. Quite why anyone would need two minutes of silence after it, though, remains unexplained. Perhaps it’s to prepare for the uncompromising instrumental ‘barbara’; a grind-fest featuring shouting and general state of discontent. This being the least commercial track on the EP, it is also, of course, the longest one.
For lovers of this type of music, enticingly, the physical version of the EP promises six minutes of “drone-out”. Yet despite the band’s insistence to celebrate lo-fi vocals, anger and to avoid pop music, the energy and aggression on display is not without merit.