Brighton garage-bruisers showed with their 2014 debut, Annabel Dream Reader, that their music is the polar opposite of easy listening. Their sound was awkward, unsettling and at times earsplitting, but it was deliberately so. The raw, psychedelic surf-grunge is not as exposed this time around, with their sound less crude and more defensive. This is, however, another side of The Wytches that simply shouldn’t be as captivating as it is. With All Your Happy Life, guitars provide more of a safeguard to Kristian Bell’s agitated vocals, creating a more uniform, sullen fluidity to this album when compared to its elder sibling, which relied on off-kilter, menacing guitar melodies almost exclusively. One thing that hasn’t changed is the deluge of garage that immerses the majority of the arrangements, and although Bell’s hostile assaults are tactically different, they are still as focused as they were two years ago. The Wytches mesh of sound is the musical embodiment of sixties surf dressed in severe Halloween costumes, and their ability to turn such agitation into something that is, against all odds, listenable, is a testament to this band’s grasp on their own sound.
[FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD]