30 Mar

We know almost nothing at all about the intentions of 3 A.M. and given our lack of knowledge, it’s probably unfair to accuse them of attempting to sonically brainwash the world, gaining dominion over souls in the dead of the night, one riff at a time.

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Unfair and ignorant as this hypothesis may be, we’re sticking with it – for no other reason aside from declaring ourselves to be willing victims of this particular Peruvian brainwashing, as put forward by 3 A.M. on their mysterious and mesmerizing set of songs known as “UFO Blues Tapes.”

And when we say “their,” we really mean “him,” given that 3 A.M. is the solo project of Chino Burga, responsible for the monolithic Martian-made riffs, drones, loops and moans that define “UFO Blues Tapes” (though the band morphs into a duo for live performances). And as with certain other solo projects, this means the drums are turned over to the relentless rhythm driven directly into the heart of darkness by the 3 A.M. drum machine. Following an initial public service announcement about the dangers of the dead rising from their graves, opener “Can’t Stand” kicks the coffin lid off and up into the atmosphere, with the strength of a million zoned-out zombies; amplification and oscillation with the target of levitation. Mission accomplished.

A quick ticking off of the direct influences noted in the creation of “UFO Blues Tapes” – Loop, Suicide, Dead Moon, Spacemen 3 – checks out immediately, although the description given by the mastermind behind this brainwashing strikes us as being unsurpassable:

“I would say it’s like Alan Vega and Martin Rev meet Ron Asheton on a very hard drinking binge, strung out on drugs and decided to play some Joy Division covers. It’s drone, it’s haunted, it’s rock’n’roll …”

 We’ll take that from 3 A.M., any time of the day or night.

The difference between day and night feels nothing less than negligible in the world of L.A. Witch, a trio of broom-riding bashers, bringers of rock and roll sorcery.

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In the four years since the origin of this ridiculous website, we’ve had the good fortune of featuring many bands and musicians from L.A., as well as the good fortune of interviewing our single favorite and most illuminating witch of all time. Either despite of or because of this history, we now find ourselves fully and completely under the spell of L.A. Witch.

More specifically, we find ourselves fully and completely under the spell of the band’s recently released, self-titled, three-song EP. And as far as recently released, self-titled, three-song EPs go, we’re confident declaring this one to be an absolutely unmissable journey into the occult heart of awesome rock and roll.

Three songs is not a lot of songs, but it would seem that L.A. Witch do not need a lot of songs to make their presence known, either to the living or to the dead. Perhaps this speaks to the power of their witchcraft, although our ouija board says the power of their songcraft speaks just as loudly.

And that just happens to be the way we recommend enjoying the music of L.A. Witch: loudly (although if you have a ouija board handy, you should probably use it – or at least, roll it up and smoke it). Certainly opener “Get Lost” fairly demands to be brewed in a cauldron of high volume, while also affirmatively answering the musical question, “Are people still writing perfect rock and roll songs?”

Witchcraft or songcraft – despite a loser’s library filled with books on both, it’s fair to say we really don’t know much about either; these apes are dilettantes to the end. But we do confidently know when we hear something we love, and we love L.A. Witch. Save yourself.

“UFO Blues Tape” is available from the 3 A.M. Bandcamp page.

L.A. Witch’s self-titled EP is available from their Bandcamp page.

“Value your self, look after your self

Be watchful throughout your life.

You are your own refuge;

There is no other refuge.

This refuge is hard to achieve.

One’s self is the lord of oneself;

There is no other lord.

This lord is difficult to conquer.

You cannot save another, you can

only save yourself.”

The Dhammapada


One Response to “BAND OF THE WEEK: 3 A.M. + L.A. WITCH”

  1. Mael March 30, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    3am is great! Thanks for the discovery.

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