WTCHS is a noisy, math-y, shoegaze-y, post-punk-y band from Hamilton, Ontario. Reviewers often use adjectives like “heavy”, “loud”, “fast”, “angular” and “thunderous” to describe their sound. The same reviewers often use reference points like Sonic Youth and Odonis Odonis.
I had never heard of this young band until I got something in the mailbag the other day. The mailbag has been bursting with new stuff lately, and I needed a lot of time to tend to all of the new sounds. This is one of the very few recent submissions that really caught my ear.
The band has been ridiculously busy in the last several months. They’ve gone out of their way to release records in a bunch of different formats, and they say that they’ve been careful to consider the format when they chose the particular songs. Because the song had the “feel” of the format, or vice versa. They’ve released a digital single, a cassette EP, a split 7″ record, a compilation 7″ record, a lathe cut vinyl single. Making a lathe cut record is a pretty strange thing to do in the first place, so I give them credit for that alone. The new EP, which will be a limited run of single-sided white 12″ vinyl, will be released on April 11 via Sonic Unyon Records. It’ll also be available in cassette format. Of course, it’ll also be available as a digital download.
Tonight’s song is the first song from that release.
“Young Girls” by WTCHS
The grimy, sludgy bass bits are complemented by the driving drum beats and the completely unintelligible lyrics to create something that’s utterly hypnotic. I love the super lo-fi tape hiss, somewhat reminiscent of some Guided by Voices albums, or the amazingly brilliant Mountain Goats album All Hail West Texas. I really love All Hail West Texas despite its incredibly low production value. That album was actually recorded on a boombox, using the on-board mic as the only mic. The EP by WTCHS wasn’t recorded on a boombox, but it sort of does have the feel of a song that was recorded with a cassette tape recorder. I like that grit. I don’t have much tolerance for low production value, but when I like something with low production value, I really like it. This is one of those times.
I get the feel that this band, like Odonis Odonis, is quite different live compared to on record. The one time I saw Odonis Odonis live (at Hopscotch 2012), I was stunned by how different they were on stage. I like their record, but I LOVED their live performance. Something to behold. Those reviewers that I keep talking about also comment about how amazing WTCHS are live.
Buy their record when it comes out.