Ciggie Witch have one of the best names in Australia, along with Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, The Gooch Palms and Reckless Vagina. However, whilst the latter bands are disciplined in the ways of punk and rock n roll, Ciggie Witch go for the jangle angle. But this isn’t some bullshit strum machine thing. Considering Ciggie Witch have got members of The Ocean Party, Pencil and Robert bloody McComb from the Triffids in there, I’d say that ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ demands a peruse.
However, it’s way too easy to get lost in this album. Forget window shopping-once you’ve laid down for the first track, ‘Long Weekend’, there’s a strong bloody chance that you’re in it for the long haul. Or rather, short haul, because the album flies by, whisked along by glazed eye guitars, scratchy drums, and twinkling keys.
There’s actually a certain paradox to the way Ciggie Witch approach music-they’re lyrics are filled with motions about how much they hate the world they live in- their jobs, their lack of money, the bullshit people that co-inhabit their space-really, just things that piss off us disciples of normality. If you haven’t put up with at least one douche-fuck at your work, then you’re probably in a coma, dreaming of a non-existent work environment. But these lyrics of woe and sadness are paired with stunning music, that somehow makes you want to move your neck in a lopsided and awkward but enjoyable fashion. It’s an irony of the highest order.
Take for example ‘Part Two’-the lyrics of ‘People seem like they want to talk to me/I don’t know what to say, I freeze up, give short answers and run away’ is a spot on analysis of anyone who feels they could beat out Milhouse in an awkward-off. And yet, the song is paired with indescribably beautiful music, that pours itself into your mind, unavoidably smooth and catchy, with a violin part at the end more relieving than when you get home and see someone else has done the dishes.
‘Rock And Roll Juice’ is full of these kinds of observations tacked together with tired, soft and brutally stunning tunes. ‘Taylor’s Lakes’ features the line, ‘I got a steady job and my uni course, but I’m already feeling kinda bored’, and there’s a solo in there hand-crafted by the Slash of Brunswick. ‘Servo Stride’ and ‘Midday Movie’ are excellent sad tunes, that reek of desperate youth, ‘I am watching lives unfold on TV, I am living through the midday movie’. And ‘The Internet’ personify the bored teenage experience, and really the whole fascination of the WWW, in a swift chorus of ‘I don’t know why I got out of bed, I spent the whole goddamn day on the Internet’.
The thing that gets me with Ciggie Witch’s debut album isn’t so much any particular song, but the entire package that is ‘Rock And Roll Juice’. The album is about how fucking shitty it can be sometimes as a directionless 20-something. Now, don’t take that to mean that this some bullshit LOL SLACKERZ 90’s movie thing starring Steve Zahn and the Dad from Freaks and Geeks. The album stays afloat on the concept that having a shitty job is shitty, going to a shitty uni because people said that’s what’s expected of you is shitty, and hanging out with shitty people all the time is shitty. And sometimes, 20 year olds don’t fall into the coward-punch-loving, EDM-junkie, woman-molesting stereotype that the news loves to portray us as. Ciggie Witch represent the normal folk who have the aforementioned shitty jobs, terrible course work and retarded friends, and they’re bummed about it. But rather than moping around, and being a grumpy barista, they’ve formed an excellent band, and constructed dazzlingly good songs with some damn sharp lyrics.
Look, it’s fairly obvious that this album is going to cop some shit for being on the ‘I’m weird, and I hate my job’ spectrum of things. But look Troy, your trust fund is looking great, and I hear Deadmau5 has a new album out, so you’ll be fine. For the rest of us that live in the bummed-out atmosphere, there’s Ciggie Witch, and although the future looks shit, it’s gotten that much brighter with ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ for brekky.
BUY CIGGIE WITCH’S ‘ROCK N ROLL JUICE’ HERE:
And go see ’em this Sunday at the Lansdowne hotel, they’ll be launching the album for free!