"Stylistically, this is a classic TWATR record; rumbling grooves, seemingly carved out of stone, agricultural psychedelia, a Luddite Moody Blues. Small town Iggy Pops trying to put on a musical."
The Witch and the Robot – On Safari
Cumbria’s greatest situationist cooks come back with an album of mind-boggling sounds and attitudes that could raise skyscrapers. Oh, what fun Witch and the Robot are; I mean who else sends you random shit like menacing postcards and bags of wild flower seeds with your CD?
Stylistically, this is a classic TWATR record; rumbling grooves, seemingly carved out of stone, agricultural psychedelia, a Luddite Moody Blues. Small town Iggy Pops trying to put on a musical. It’s a truly fabulous noise. An indication of the sound (and a reminder of just how left-field this lot are) lies in the titles; The Beatification of St Thomas Aquinas anyone?
Giants Graves has that hippy-shake, lo-fi, Pebbles feeling of menace that just begs for you to shake some moody rug to it. The Moody Blues angle is well represented in the beautiful prog-pastoral wooziness of Rapture of the Deep and The Best Free Show on Earth (who’s been listening to Peter Hammill? Eh? Eh?)
This is a much more ambitious record than previous TWATR LPs. And this is a good thing. Clearly this lot don’t want to be thought of as a joke band. Playing to a room full of chinstrokers and erudite students ain’t good enough any more. No, this is widescreen music, even if they are searching for that lost chord in Shap’s Co-op (No Flies on ME illustrates this point well we feel). Still, they keep that ragged sound and air of mystery that is so appealing and reminds this reviewer of Liverpool loons Clinic.
If you haven’t already done so, then I heartily recommend this lot. Normal it isn’t but there again, look at Westminster nowadays. Is that normal?
Words: Richard Foster