10 Track, LP (2008, In-Fidelity Recordings)
Related: Witch Hats.
Witch Hats are four brats who play disagreeably loud songs and misspell half the tracks on their debut album. I love them, sort of. Last year when they played the much-delayed Cellulite Soul in its entirety at one of those alleyway venues Melbourne is known for, a sizable chunk of the audience walked out covering their ears. At the time I thought there must have had been a mistake, but no – the record is just as loud. The band plunder the bottom-end of Australian underground music history – bassist Ash Buscombe boasts an impressive collection of original Scientists singles – and play pop songs that sound as if they'd spent twenty years in a trashcan before stumbling to life. One of the more merciful things about hearing Witch Hats on record is being able to turn them down occasionally.
Cellulite Soul's first track 'Before I Weigh' kicks off with a warbled scream and a guitar so distorted it would make The Jesus And Mary Chain proud. Kris Buscombe's voice is almost inaudible – the album doesn't come with a lyric sheet, by the way – before all four of them join in to sing a catchy but incomprehensible chorus twice in a row. That's more or less the formula for Cellulite Soul – two parts dumpster and one part melody. Half-way through there's a particularly good song called 'HellHole', which is probably the loudest of the bunch and one of the rare moments you can understand the lyrics. Each verse is a play on the first one: "Dude, stop sitting in the apple tree/ The damn thing's shaking violently." The apple tree eventually falls on top of the protagonist and drags everyone into the "hellhole" of the chorus. There's something so childish and sinister about that track, placed right at the very heart of Cellulite Soul, that speaks volumes. Witch Hats play a kind of music close to my heart – the abyss as pop song. This is a brilliant album.
by Andrew Ramadge