RADNOTBAD: Ditch Witch

30 Sep

Ditch Witch Album Cover-Optimized-Optimized-1A few weeks ago one of my buddies Joe, who runs Toilet Ov Hell, mentioned that he was looking for the best metal band in Austin and asked what my thoughts were. He listed off a few who he considered the crème de la crème‘ and I was immediately caught off by his not referencing Ditch Witch. It just seemed nonsense not to have them in the conversation when they were my instant number one. Sometimes I forget just how many great bands reside here.

Ditch Witch Live

There is a long list of insanely talented heavy leaning bands in Austin, the pool is far deeper than any other genre represented in the current scene, so to try coming up with a rank and file of bands is academic dichotomy and something only personal bias has the potential to accomplish. We could spend days just trying to quantify sub-genres, ultimately getting lost in terms such as “sludge” and “thrash” for hours on end, and for how much I throw labels around I’m kind of over all of it; A great band is a great band plain and simple. I don’t give a shit what it sounds like as long as it is solid. Too hell with any elitists who disagree with that sentiment.God there isn’t anything more disgusting than genre loyalists and their close-minded supercilious code (the only exception possibly being Straight Edge since their loyalty seemingly stems from something deeper than the superficial high-school acceptance litmus test everyone else seems governed by….. not to mention Youth of Today rules). It seems every time I tap into anything full of piss and vinegar I just end up at logger heads with a hoard of ostentatious naysayers because the one band I really dig isn’t the one band they have decided to be the band everyone should dig.

What I’m trying to say is that anyone could argue over who the best band in Austin is, and with how static the talent is we would all have a leg to stand on to some extent, but no matter what you are into, there is no way you could have a clue of what you are talking about without conceding that Ditch Witch has the potential of ending the argument.

Ditch Witch Dudes

If you are not from town then Ditch Witch may not be on your radar yet, I hope you are ready. Ditch Witch  sound like a bunch of dudes who skate all day to Metallica‘s Kill Em All and Whiplash‘s Ticket To Mayhem and seemingly have no fucks to give about anything other than playing shows and not showing up for work. They are basically the exact band I imagined I’d play in when I was thirteen. Playing their album speaks for the talent but it is their presence, in life not just plugged in, which will make you a believer. These dudes are as genuine as you’ll ever come across; Always stoked about whatever, always positive, always open to whoever is around them, the later probably being why I dig them so much. They are a band legitimate enough for elitist to cling onto without expecting the band to adhere to the same train of thought and fashion sense to be worthy of their loyalty as they seem to be with bands such as Thee Oh Sees or The Brian Jonestown Massacre . These guys always seem content with their place in life rather than trying to sell an image or an attitude so that catching one of their sets or running into them at some party everyone ends up feeling the desire to warm beneath their light rather than talk shit about it. My kick for great bands full of unpretentious people continues on.

Ditch Witch photo by Jay Armstrong

Ditch Witch photo by Jay Armstrong

While at the Burger Records showcase during SXSW this year I saw first hand how fans would show up for each band they personally wanted to see, would hang for a song or two of the next band’s set and then shuffle away to compliment each other for having impeccable taste in denim somewhere off in the distance. Ditch Witch and Liquor Store were the only bands I saw this year who magnetized every person within earshot and spent the next thirty minutes converting them into evangelical believers. Liquor Store did it with a midnight weekend slot, Ditch Witch did it as the sun broke the clouds at like four in the afternoon. The odds were even stacked against them and they still managed to steal the town’s heart. Typically it is like watching someone else make-out with your girlfriend the first time you see a band who you usually cram into some closet sized venue to check out getting to play in front of a diverse crowd of unfamiliars on a stage bigger than our collective apartments. That’s not the case for Ditch Witch though, their slacker skuzz must emanate through their amps or something, regardless of the crowd, regardless of the venue, the dudes turn the volume all the way up and things feel right.



I don’t want all the warm fuzzy feelings to mislead you, this band is as heavy as it gets without being overtly satanic in an attempt to compensate for undersized genitalia. If a hundred people write about Ditch Witch ninety-five of them would use the word “shred” in either the opening or closing sentence. Their latest album, Sold Our Souls (Aggressor Records), is chill for all of twenty-three seconds before the first guitar comes in and spends thirty straight minutes lighting your brain on fire and attempting to blow the flames out with bong rip smoke. I put it on whenever I’m over over-thinking and in need of a little comfort of chaos in my life. It is a record that may not get you laid but it’ll sure as hell get you lifted.  Think of the best band everyone gets stoked for in your shit-hole town, these dudes are better than that, pick up the record, catch a show, you’ll see, Ditch Witch could be your life, they are certainly legit enough to be that’s for sure.


Ditch Witch – Facebook | Bandcamp | Aggressor Records

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