The Witch and the Robot: On Safari

~ Wednesday, 5 August 2009
God bless these eccentric little isles. The home of the wind up radio, Cliff Richard and Bovril. Oh yes, it's a truly wonderful land. And you know what, it just got better. The Witch And The Robot are here to bring us a ray of sunshine, so dig out your sunglasses and top up your tan.

Do you remember those kids at school who used to wear tee-shirts of bands you had never heard of? Soft Machine, Caravan, Gong and the like. Surprise!

TWATR (yes, that is how they are known. Hilarious isn't it), are like a breath of fresh air. Take opener Giants' Graves for instance, sounding like a Mariachi band doing Grateful Dead covers. Yep, it is that cool. The beautifully mellow Rapture Of The Deep has shades of British Sea Powers, as does the whole album. That's not to say that TWATR are not original, because they are. You get the feeling that they probably have an 8 track player in their Volkswagen camper van with the greatest hits of Jethro Tull and it has rubbed off on what they do.

A Crocodile Song is a ramshackle beauty. A folk anthem. A retro hippie freak out. Just a bloody great song. One song in particular stand out for me though. De-Nihilism could very well be TWATR's Sympathy For The Devil. Nuff said.

This album is a great piece of psych folk, but it is not perfect. You Already Know All There Is To Know About Space Travel (Just look At The Stars) feels self indulgent, while Sex Music (Beef On Wax) go nowhere until well into the second half. Those two songs aside, this is a wonderful collection that manages to capture the live energy from a band who defy labels.

[][][][] (4/5)