Thought Forms / Esben and the Witch – Thought Forms


Thought Forms/Esben and the Witch (split LP)

Brighton's Esben and the Witch (EATW) are known for their heavy, uncompromising post-punk aesthetic, largely involving a basic set up of just bass, guitar and drums. Last seen in Brighton performing a live score to the Argentinian film La Antena as part of last year's Cine City film festival, they are at their most comfortable in experimental, noisy, 'nightmare pop' making mode.
On 'No Dog', a rumbling distorted bass meets crashing drums and overdriven guitar, before the song segues into a quiet, snail's pace passage followed by Rachel Davies' typically foreboding vocals. Slowly, but surely it builds before the cycle is completed and repeated.
The eight minute plus 'Butoh' is even more elemental, several moments of visceral catharsis dotting the 'tune' which is little more than an experimental jam, but remains spellbinding nevertheless.
Having left the 4AD label, EATW are crowd funding in order to raise the necessary funds to record their next album with Steve Albini.
Meanwhile Bristol's 'Thought Forms' (also a trio; two boys, one girl) four tracks on offer somewhat mirror EATW, the alternating cycle of quiet, loud is equally dark and foreboding, but with a touch more of the 80s alt-indie, and a little less experimental and instrumental. Sound of Violence and For The Moving Stars are both obviously influenced by the likes of 80s icons Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, but remain fiery tracks that mean business.
This highly unusual split LP offering (split singles were more common in the punk and post-punk eras) will be available on vinyl or digital platforms, and is being released via Geoff Barrow's (of Portishead fame) Invada Records imprint.
Jeff Hemmings