written by Chris Familton
The third album from The Cave Singers continues their folk blues riffing and continues to invite comparisons with the likes of Two Gallants. Across twelve tracks they keep things stripped right back to the minimum requirements for snaking grooves and tales from the dark side.
Singer Pete Quirk has a great voice for this kind of music with his dusty growl and just enough grit to scuff up the sweeter melodies. On Falls he sings menacingly over a New Orleans and gospel shuffle that suggests The Cave Singers are trying to get a little more darkness and soul into their music this time around. Eastern tinges swirl around Outer Realms but they sound too close to Tea Party than some meeting of musical worlds.
Celtic overtones colour All Land Crabs And Divinity Ghosts, adding a nice diversion from the swampy and sunburnt americana vibe that pervades most of No Witch. The guitar lines in that song are typical of the high standard of six-string playing across most of the album. All three of The Cave Singers play guitar, giving the record a diverse palette of sparkling lines, acoustic dusty strums and in the case of Haystacks an upbeat, country Mellencamp sound.
Though they tick all the boxes with lyrics about God, death, redemption and revenge and they possess a great way with maintaining tension in their songs, there is still something missing from The Cave Singers conviction. A band like Woven Hand seem a lot more apocalyptic and doom laden. For No Witch to really resonate in the way this kind of music should they need to get ragged and hoarse and sound more akin to desperate men than they do here.
this review first appeared in Drum Media