Possible namesake of now defunct Coney Island amusement park ride, Witching Waves’ new album, Fear of Falling, truly vibes like a guide on do-it-yourself basement sleep-over hauntings. The album comes complete with an Occult Barbie Doll and all her ritual accessories. This is the London group’s (which started as a duo until recently filling the bassist position), first L.P, preceded by three cassette recordings, all released by Soft Power Records, and a slew of U.K tours. Before I start this I have to say, these two are doing something in lo-fi style very, very well.
Fans of Warpaint or Electrelane will love the female vocalist and drummer’s sing-song chants. She’s breathy, whole, and serious. The guitarist croons back with a grunge-but-still 60’s pop-wound chimes. Together they play with timely-disjointedness, jump-rope around a few harmonies down the way. Her beats are as serious and high-pitched as her voice, his guitar is whimsical but still grimy (I am tempted to add a Coney-Island themed metaphor here, but I’ll let listeners work with their imaginations). It is all very innocent to the point of ominous and extremely well tracked, likely due to the guitarist’s background as a sound engineer at the studio where this project was rehearsed and recorded.
The lyrics for these songs move in summer-romance level codes. Featured track, “Better Run”, boasts and moans “I’ve got a ticking clock on my back/ I’ve got a ticking clock on my back”. After listening, this song tempted me to search for its accompanying video, which provided me with an eerie brunch-gone-bad pantomime involving a smoking stalker, boot ruined toast, and a disco birthday party. Each word stays catchy, comfortably pop with just a little bit of Riot-Grrl sensibility to get you through a few lukewarm moments.
Although occasionally suffering from a tendency to shy away from really showing its teeth, this album will interest any listener who enjoys a bit of giddy, stripped-down rock. Im dead certain this album’s name, Fear of Falling, could be referencing go-to slumber party ritual, “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”, so turn it on, pitch it down, and wait for Witching Wave’s sonic ouija board to tell you something, or at least let you spin their magic 8-ball.
Fear of Falling Down is out December 8th via Soft Power Records.