Earth and Ether

Kitchen Witch

If "Kitchen Witch", is a puppet, or a poppet if you prefer, or a doll  […]
By Barbie Rose
November 24, 2020
Kitchen Witch - Earth and Ether album cover

If "Kitchen Witch", is a puppet, or a poppet if you prefer, or a doll  in the form of a witch or crone that brings good luck and defends against bad spirits; then a band of this name might bear a duality of an ominous appearance with a deeper and absolving goodness. KITCHEN WITCH, from Adelaide, Australia, has released their second full length album - Earth and Ether - and this review endeavors to explore these dualities.

As I begin with the album opener, "Lost" I feel a human need to classify this bluesy Black Sabbath - this punkish ole "Uli Roth" inspired 1970's Scorpions - but KITCHEN WITCH seems much better!   As "Lost" continues,  we don't know what we think because we don't know what we hear; yet we are feeling something, but we don't know what it is - nor scarcely know what to call it, so we wait until four minutes into this opener: as Simon Elliott begins strumming his bass - moving twixt major and minor chords, until John Russo enters with a subtle crescendo on the snare - for Conor Kisella to enter with a developed progression - for Georgie Cosson to further initiate us through these dualities with her melodic curves - re-modulating from minor to a major, happier, resolution.

"Cave of Mischief" opens with a heavy muddy grunge–yet it must be heavy metal to sink so low into the watery dirt.     Nope - they've modulated from metal to blues.  I love this diversity of style that defies an accurate classification.    In the former tune "Lost" I called the singer a Siren, and an Ethereal Siren at that - who I now know to be a blues singer; yet I also I know this to be a rhythm-n' blues band playing metal better than any metal band I know–and I'm groovin' with this kitchy-witchy earthy-grungy-goo:  (you guessed it - as my metric feet get stuck in this mud, my cheeky tongue does too).

The second track "Cave of Mischief" ends with a highlight of Conor Kinsella's "rock star" identity, and he sells it as well as he plays it; but he's not alone–yet I can offer no higher compliment.  He can't do it without Simon Elliott or John Russo–and truly, through his solo–he leads them, and while doing so, they shine together.  So dirty - so right; so together - so tight!    I'm back in the outback groove.

With "The Frontal Lobe", I go back out to the outback and the heaviness of this tune clearly ranks this as my album favorite.  As the deepest and heaviest song on the album–it is more than a "gloriously enchanting incantation"; and that which I previously thought as a rhythm & blues band is not a blues band at all but definitely a (rhythmic) metal grunge band - so low and heavy - and that Siren!   I want Georgie Cosson to be the singer in every metal band I know.    "Plenty for you to / fantasize".   Listeners, take care not to care - and don't listen!  Calypso calls.  Listen to me when I say "don't listen to me".  Calypso calls.   I'm stuck in the muddy grungy groove - and Calypso calls me.      "Oh-oh-Oh-oh-Oh - Oh - Ah-aahh".

The haunting melodies in this song!   That ethereal melismatic voice that delivers us into the groovy grungy earth!  Once caught - you're struck & stuck under her lead.  As Georgie leads us to the song closing with "Oh-oh-Oh-oh-Oh - Oh - Ah-aahh". his is wonderful. Through "Earth and Ether," the band turns back to a blues - and with the siren "Georgie (Calypso) Cosson" just sings to us, as her prisoners.   "Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo" ... I'm enjoying this / /This clarity–this harmony is calming me ... You can scream my name / scream my name it's all in vein / I'll never call / never again".

"Many Moons" finalizes the "release and this listener delights to hear Georgie singing, sighing, - as we approach the end.      This is a more of a bluesy tune - perhaps the most bluesy on the album.   I used understatement with some play to describe the technical musicality of this band.  They are superb with their craft;  it is only that the "whole band" is much greater than its individual parts–not that these individuals do not innovate through their respective instruments.

How KITCHEN WITCH delivers rhythm-n' blues together with muddy grunge so well - I do not know.   That which is immensely difficult sounds unusually easy–because they do it with a masterful & musical tact. On a scale of one through ten - l award KITCHEN WITCH with the ominous number thirteen–but more due to their collective excellence.

10 / 10









"Earth and Ether" Track-listing:

1. Lost
2. Cave of Mischief
3. Sunrise
4. Chase The Sun
5. The Frontal Lobe
6. Earth and Ether
7. Many Moons

Kitchen Witch Lineup:

Georgie Cosson - Vocals & Percussion
Conor Kinsella - Guitar & Lap Steel
Simon Elliott - Bass
John Russo - Drums

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