Dying Surfer Meets His Maker is a fun collection of songs that sounds large and overdriven, but the production wrangles it all in so it does not blow the listener out of the water. The sound goes from a mellow tune like album opener, “Call Me Star”, then jumps into slow-motion headbang-worthy instrumental “El Centro”.
It is this inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to lock into a single sound that keeps the album interesting and the pace captivating. Just like the aforementioned Meat Puppets, All Them Witches lack any fear in dropping jam-worthy instrumental tracks in their album. This is just another way the record breaks away from the norm and blazes a trail that is, while not new, certainly rarely-traveled.
For me, “Open Passageways” was the track that combined it all together; All Them Witches is a band that would have found a home on California-based independent label SST Records (Black Flag) many years ago. The band’s penchant for sonic explorations and the ability to capture emotion through the sound alone brings it all home.
Hit up the record store, friends, or find these guys online through New West Records; you’ll be glad you did.