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Review of "One Bird, Two Stones" by Dixie Witch

review-of-one-bird-two-stones-by-dixie-witch

2003: a year that was awash with boybands, poptarts (girls singing insipid Pop-music), and rap. The only things that were remotely Rock in a mainstream context were the after-birth of Nu Metal and those loathsome, so-called “Rock-revivalists.” The irony was Rock did not need to be revived as there were a slough of great Rock bands just below the mainstream's surface. Dixie Witch was one such great band, but, like its peers (Animalcule, The Darkness, The Sword, Ogre, The Quill, etc.) the band received little support. Indeed, with more gain than a detergent factory and more grooves than the most bewrinkled face, Dixie Witch all but blow the errant notion that “Rock is dead” completely out of the water.

The Dixie Witch album One Bird, Two Stones is a textbook example of just such a refutation. Punctuated with the melodic bass-stabs by Curt Christenson, the record begins with the frenetic Get Busy. With its high-octane groove, this tune would make a great substitute for that coffee enema you give yourself every morning.

The second track on the record is Goin' South, and my initial reaction was damn! If this is an example of going South, I want to take that trip a lot. The song features a walloping, detuned, and fuzz-drenched riff, which, comes crashing down on one like a hundred-foot wave, played over the top a groove so deep it was as if Godzilla created the ruts!

Just when you thought it could not get any better than Goin' South, BAM, we have a new champion! More Of A Woman features the same massive riffs and groove (plus the snarling, wah-drenched vocals of Clayton Mills). This song is the sonic equivalent of being curb-stomped by that hot babe you've had your eye on.

Move over Simple Man! Here comes The Wheel! If ever there was a textbook example of a power-ballad this is it. A song with a sense of desperate melancholy, it starts out with delicate and haunting acoustic guitar-work by Clayton Mills, and then gives way to massively heavy choruses. The song also gets extra credit for having an Iommiesque breakdown which gives way to a poignant Clayton Mills guitar solo with a perfect tone.

The fifth track on the album is On My Way, and the band was certainly on its way...to writing another great song! This song features the usual pummeling riffs and groove but this time with a more buoyant mood.

The sixth track is a semi-ballad called Driftin' Lady. Its textured parts a little more grittier than the textured parts in The Wheel, it is, nonetheless, a rocking and rollicking song that should dominate everyone's Ipod list. After all, it's a song about a breakup; so how couldn't it be grittier?

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The seventh track is called Makes Me Crazy, which ambles up to one like a sidewinder. Especial praise should be meted out at this moment to Clayton Mills for his guitar tone, which is thick, warm, but has tons of clarity, and, on this track, he certainly does not disappoint.

Taking the tempo up a notch comes Turbo Wing. With its relentless, churning rhythms, this track puts most practitioners of “Groove Metal” to shame. This song also illustrates how Clayton Mills' guitar tone is so thick and full he does not need a second guitarist to help out with the rhythms.

The ninth track is the swinging and sultry Here Today Gone Tomorrow. Starting out with Hendrix-like guitar-figures drenched in Uni-Vibe, this song quickly turns into another superb power-ballad. Now this is how power-ballads are supposed to be written.

Finally, the album ends with the song Traveler. A more upbeat song, it features jubilant, arpeggiated guitar-figures. However, not to worry, it retains the same fierce groove as the other songs on this record. Add to this the ferocious slide-solo courtesy of Clayton Mills and you have another great song. Think the folksiness of The Allman Brothers with the heaviness of Pantera.

In sum Dixie Witch was one of the many great bands, who came out in the 2000s soon to be forgotten. Do not let the group stay that way.

Buy "One Bird, Two Stones" by Dixie Witch

The band's page at Small Stone Records

"More Than A Woman" by Dixie Witch

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