Love Child

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Witchcraft Review

by Jason Ankeny

By the time of Lovechild's second and final record, co-founder Will Baum was out of the group, and with him went much of the goofy humor that characterized their debut Okay?; the depth and complexity of the resulting Witchcraft is, by comparison, a stunning about-face -- the two albums seem almost like the work of different bands, equally wonderful but worlds apart in form and sensibility. Rejecting the brevity and quirky popcraft which typified Okay?, here the remaining duo of Rebecca Odes and Alan Licht plunge into long, noisy songs with dark, intense undercurrents -- it's especially fascinating to witness the sonic radicalism which characterizes much of Licht's subsequent work blossoming here, from the Branca-influenced guitar pyrotechnics of "Stumbling Block" to the primitivist epic "A Rose Is a Thorn." Equally intriguing is the growth of Odes' songwriting -- both "Obsessive-Compulsive" and "Sleepyhead" are acute psychological portraits, the latter perhaps the most evocative depiction of slacker malaise ever committed to vinyl. Another wonderful record from one of the most criminally overlooked bands of the early '90s.

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