Radioactive industrial-punk mutants Wet Witch slither from the Burn Books label, the same sludgehurlers who got us Pregnant this time last year. Part Jersey Shore wash-up, part Brooklyn crust-over, Wet Witch’s four-song, one-sided 12″ (out now, limited to 500) comes complete with the band’s name melted into the middle like an acid burn. The eight and a half minutes of music that surround it are all factory steam, pulsating pistons, CB radio chatter, country-rock played a broken radio and the screaming/gargling of events that will get you reported to OSHA. Opener “New Ways” features Suicide’s broken textures, Big Black’s steely drive and Fear’s hardcore brawn all in the span of a premature ejaculation. Fans of Pop. 1280, Yvette, and Sleigh Bells take note.
Download: Wet Witch, “New Ways”
What is “New Ways” about?
“New Ways” is mostly about maintaining sense of purpose without becoming rigid or overly self-confident. We were going for a kind of Nine Inch Nails/the Screamers vibe. Dark and fast with electronic elements, but still keeping the soul of what we think a punk band should sound like.
What percent of you is Brooklyn and which percent is New Jersey?
Well we’re all originally from Jersey, but I’ve lived in Brooklyn for just under 10 years now. Tim and Mike still live there and I travel down at least once a week to Asbury Park, where we have a practice space.
How did you record the 12″?
It was all recorded in Mike’s basement studio, Below Sea Level, and we worked on versions of songs there for a few months, figuring out the balance between electronics and live instruments. This is the first project we worked on with a drum machine, recorded synth parts and a sampler, instead of a traditional 4-to-5-piece band, so it took some fine tuning to get to a point we were happy with.
What was it like playing Terminal 5?
I’m sure most of the crowd coming to see Sleigh Bells wasn’t really ready to see a fast, screamy punk band open, but I think we played well and that’s exactly what we went there to do. It was also a pretty fun party night and Sleigh Bells killed it.
What’s your favorite place to eat in New York?
I have to say Diner. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had have been there, and I also used to work there, so maybe I’m biased.
Wet Witch play their record-release show at St. Vitus on March 31.