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Dixie Witch : One Bird, Two Stones

If my (admittedly hazy) memory is working this morning, the first time I heard Texas' Dixie Witch was in St. Louis on the Southern Domination tour a couple of years ago. I was a happy convert at the time, blown away by their live presence, not to mention their excellent southern vibin' 'Into the Sun' EP. Yep, they were great all right, but when you're sharing a bill with Alabama Thunder Pussy, well…most bands with any sense exit with their tails between their legs and never look back.

But not Dixie Witch, who have since honed their live show into an adrenalin-pumping, crushingly heavy behemoth that wins legions to their side with each tour. I should know, 'cause I saw them at SHOD 4, and they were jaw-droppingly good. I was standing next to a total stranger at the end of their set, and all we could do was look at each other and yell "DAMN!" There was a type of instant kinship in that look: we understood that we had just witnessed something truly amazing, although for all I know it was just another concert for those Texas road warriors.

The 'Witch's new album, 'One Bird, Two Stones', is a fantastic testament to what a couple of years can do for a band's development. They've really come a long way in their ability to develop varying moods instead of being content with simple bludgeoning; the songwriting has really made a great leap forward. Not to mention the instrumental chops: jeez those guys can PLAY! The album is full to the gills with memorable riffs, rolling back and forth from the drunken outlaw vibe of 'Wheel' to the 'Toys in the Attic' feel of 'More of a Woman' to the sonic piledriver 'Turbo Wing,' which ends with some kind of unexpected weird, metallic grinding noise. For my money this album is very well produced (by ex-Butthole Jeff Pinkus), with great tone and each instrument well defined in the mix. Curt Christiensen's bass carries the album articulately, Clay Mills' amazing guitar leads are played with deceptive ease, and Trini's drums are crisp and clean, his Mark Farner-esque vocals soaring over everything.

Another fine release from Small Stone, this album will undoubtedly be in many folks' top ten for 2003. But be warned: as fine as this album is, it is not a substitute for seeing Dixie Witch live. If you want the Total Package, you'll do whatever it takes to see these guys in concert. Trust me on this one, just...trust me.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Get Busy
2. Going South
3. More of a Woman
4. Wheel
5. On My Way
6. Drifting Lady
7. Makes me Crazy
8. Turbo Wing
9. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
10. Traveler

Duration : Approx. 49 minutes

Visit the Dixie Witch bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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