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Witch Hazel Sound | This World Then the Fireworks | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Witch Hazel Sound

This World, Then the Fireworks... (A Hidden Agenda)
by Brian Varney

Orchestral in its sweep, This World, Then the Fireworks... brings to mind the lush, string-driven pop of Burt Bacharach and '70s AM pop songs like Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me." Neither of which is a complaint, by the way.

This is the first stuff I've heard by these guys, though I remember reading an interview with one of 'em a few years back and thinking the guy was an annoying, smug little motherfucker. I suppose these same words could be used to describe many of us (yours truly included), so that's no reason to not listen to this stuff.

If you're a fan of the type of classic non-power pop I've already mentioned, you should definitely check this out. The songs themselves don't grab you immediately, but they are well-crafted and, like a doctor I once had who was so good at giving shots that you wouldn't even feel it, they sink the hooks into your head before you realize what's happened.

My one (minor) complaint about The Witch Hazel Sound is the vocals. This isn't the sort of thing that wants or needs an alpha-male vocalist like John Kay or Paul Rodgers, but I wish the vocals had a little more sack to 'em. I dunno, I guess the timbre or something of Mark F.'s voice brings to mind the whiny indie fuckers that I'm probably harder on than I should be, but I can't help it 'cause they piss me off.

But it's not as bad as all that. There is a lightness to the band's sound that would certainly tend to encourage such vocalization, so maybe I'm the one who's wrong. Still, I figured I'd mention it since, y'know, I, too, am a smug, annoying motherfucker.
(303 W. Griggs St. Urbana, IL 61801)

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