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Witch

Witch (Tee Pee)

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After a reunion tour with the infamously volatile Dinosaur Jr., guitarist J. Mascis was ready to hit some stuff. So the former Deep Wound drummer put down his six-string and found a drum kit to sit behind for Witch, a perfectly named doom-metal combo possessed of the increasingly common notion that Black Sabbath's deep-album cuts rule.

Mascis' legendary stoner roots have never been so fully exposed. If jam bands jammed this hard and long, hippies would be extinct, and nobody would mess with the longhairs who remained. A mere seven songs into its 40 minutes, Witch's self-titled debut kicks off with "Seer," an eight-minute trudge through hell. The fact that Mascis isn't wielding the axe is strictly a formality; guitarist Asa Irons plays almost exactly like him, alternating sludgy riffs and discordant leads. In "Hand of Glory," he follows a borderline-jazz scale with a minute-long bloody-fingered frenzy. If Dinosaur never records another album, Mascis has a new tyrannosaurus.

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