All Them Witches Bring Supernatural Coolness to Cambridge

Tyler Lavoie ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Tyler Lavoie / Emertainment Monthly
Tyler Lavoie / Emertainment Monthly

The first thing you notice about All Them Witches is how cool they are.

Vintage amplifiers, sunburst guitars, and beat up wooden cases are the first things to arrive. The band’s aesthetic balances between Southern Gothic and west coast hard rock with boots, piercings, and denim jackets to match. Michael Parks, Jr., lead singer and bassist, drawls that the band played New York City last night and hasn’t slept since. The keyboard player, seated behind an impressive Fender Rhodes piano, wears a beanie and a sweater that reads, “SORRY I’M LATE.” He barely moves for the rest of the show.

The music kicks off with “When God Comes Back”, a call and response headbanger that takes cues from both Robert Johnson and Black Sabbath. From there, the band slinks into the halfriff, halfatmosphere style that characterizes their 2014 release, Lightning at the Door. Parks’s lyrics are dark and supernatural:

“Cut me up primitive I’ll die like a slave

Ridin’ on the wings of that Jesus snake

Ten thousand souls in your right hand

Never lost ground to no cold blooded man.”

The band carries their dark energy through the rest of Lightning at the Door . After the mysterious “Coyote Woman” suite, Parks stops the show. Last time they were at the Middle East, he claims, the band felt like they were still outsiders. He leaves it at that.

From there, they close with “Charles William,” a brooding single that professes,“Jesus was my dad, never laid a hand.” The drums are primal, the solos are white hot, and the vocals are solemn:

“Charles William to the stone

I am so far from home

And I can no longer go with you.”

Parks doesn’t need to say anything else. In the last few notes of “Charles William,” the band makes it clear: since their first tour, they’ve grown darker, more immersive, and more involved. Their second time around, All Them Witches is coming into form.

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