HOLIDAYS

Blasted Sea Witch – Violence is Golden: The Story of Bendal (Or the Life and Time of the Guy with the Lime) (Dream Root Recordings, 2009)

Posted in Blasted Sea Witch, Dream Root Recordings by HOLIDAYS on May 2, 2010

With a long title as stated above, it’s hard to really pin down what this release could possibly sound like. Receiving the disc and not having a clue what to expect, I immediately assumed something completely different than what I got considering the label name “Dream Root,” but that was definitely a huge mistake on my part. The trio self-describes themselves as having “a subtle jazz/prog/rock/blues influence,” but there is certainly a whole lot more going on as the music almost acts as an instrumental vehicle through various genres. The music isn’t quite as random as their song titles (“The Guy with the Lime,” “Slaughter-House 11,” “Bendal and the Temple of Tea,” etc.), and it still maintains an overall sound that would be appealing to a broader audience.

The first track, “The Guy with the Lime,” starts with some strange, almost creepy riff like some sort of horror/garage tune would remind you of the Munsters. The song goes forth by dances back and forth between these clean sounds, and a more distorted, heavier rock sound.

“A Joyous Occasion (F.B.O.),” the second track shows a completely different approach, starting off with some very quickly picked guitar licks, slowing down into what seems like a tropical, Latin tune with some Latin percussion, jumping back and forth between a quick, perky riff, and a slower, just as perky riff.

Throughout the rest of the 7 track disc, the songs continue to sound slightly different than their predecessor, such as “Slaughter-House 11,” which strikes myself as being more of a psychobilly/garage/rock tune more than anything. For my taste, the track leaving the half-greatest first impression on me by far was the final track, being an alternative recording of “Guy with the Lime,” retitled to “Guy with the Lime Improv Jam,” and actually recorded live in a garage. In this track, we are given the only words (well, more so just word) spoken, which is a loud “SHIT,” right in the beginning followed by head spinning guitar work, leading into the song. The “dancing” I spoke of earlier sounds much more epic in this version, but is sadly fades out only a couple minutes into the song going into what I suppose is the “improv jam” portion, which doesn’t stand close to what could have been.

Now out of print and very limited to 24 copies, you may be hard-pressed to find a copy of this one. According to the bands Myspace, they’ve currently ceased making music upon the departure of one of the three. The packaging is quite different, as the CDR is housed in a green, rough fabric baggie containing a very thick foam piece with a simple plastic hub in the middle. A rather misleading presentation for the rock held within. While I certainly couldn’t recommend it to everyone, if you’re into odder, instrumental rock, you may find yourself enjoying this. You can however get a better taste as to what I’ve been talking about with their “improv jam” made available via Megaupload. As for myself, with summer on the rise, this disc may find itself into my porch player for a few rotations, but may ultimately fade away soon there after.

Band Page: http://www.myspace.com/blastedseawitch

Label Page: http://dreamroot.webs.com, http://www.myspace.com/dreamrootrecordings