L.A. Witch's Play With Fire: mood music for people who haven't been taking their prescriptions

A second dose of headphone melters from cult psych weirdos L.A. Witch

L.A. Witch - Play With Fire
(Image: © Suicide Squeeze)

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Not quite the cracked-leather, mascara-smeared death-trip crystal machine their name (and first album) suggests, the now sorta-famous L.A. Witch have settled into something akin to dusty, psychedelic, immaculately stoned surfer jams that sound sorta like JAMC wandering bug-eyed through one of Jodoworsky’s acid westerns. 

The band only get around to full-on, tear-the-roof-off hard-rock action on a couple of tracks – the Iggy-meets-The Cramps primitive pound of I Wanna Lose, and the garage-punk motorik mash-up True Believers – but the album still manages to weave a dark and engaging spell.

Motorcycle Boy (sadly not about the unsung Sunset Strip glamsters) is a highlight, a spiralling bummer-psych jammer that sounds like the Shangri-Las after a fistful of downers, as is the surprisingly accessible Maybe The Weather, a sort of poppy, Mazzy Starry bit of wavy-gravy that would sound excellent if you were, say, glued to your couch of woe for the weekend or drowning in the bathtub. 

It’s mood music for people who have not been taking their prescriptions (all of us, I reckon), and it’s full of bruised beauty.


Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.