Gay Witch Abortion – Maverick

Gay Witch Abortion - Maverick

Gay Witch Abortion - Maverick

Ah yes… another power duo. We know the formula: take a skilled guitar player and pair him (always seems to be a guy) with an equally skilled drummer then let the rock happen. The provocatively named Gay Witch Abortion consists of just such a coming-together. This one’s more Vaz and Godheadsilo than it is Hella, but even without the same chops as Hella GWA is an impressive and powerful duo.

At first encounter you might think there’s not much subtlety to the music. It’s mostly loud, distorted guitars and pounding drums. There are vocals here and there — thankfully not of the screaming or grunting variety — but lyrics don’t play too huge a part in the modus operandi of GWA. There’s a kind of brutality in tracks like “Church Buffet” and “Girl Pop Soda” that doesn’t need any kind of vocal augmentation to make its point.

But Maverick doesn’t rely solely on migraine musicianship. As one example, even though “Scythian Skulls” gets pretty heavy, it’s also almost pretty at times. It has a story embedded into its instrumental four minutes. And the uncharacteristic “Asleep in the Dirt” never rises above a comparative whisper. Hell, “Unblinking Sun” is simply guitar on the verge of full feedback with no drums whatsoever. But let’s face it: the real reason you’d pick up this album would be for the tour-de-force, skull-crushing power cuts like “Curses” and “Action Cop.” It’s the cuts like those that tend to amaze you with their precision playing that’s just this side of post-rock cliche.

Definitely a band to see live, Gay Witch Abortion has no doubt also been able to capture its essence faithfully in recorded form. Plenty of bands out there can play tight like this, but many tend to get so math-rock that you feel like you’re just listening in on an exercise in wankery. Gay Witch Abortion, like Vaz, for the most part sidesteps the indulgent riffing and showoff pyrotechnics. The band just wants to bring the rock. And maybe put an axe through your cranium.