All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker LP (Pink/Smoke Vinyl)
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The Tennessee outfit, who had garnered much praise for their first two albums, retreated to a cabin on the outskirts of a town in their home state called Pigeon Forge - home of Dolly Parton's Appalachian-themed Dollywood - to work on their third. They emerged five days later with Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, their first for New West Records, a label known for its Americana and what pigeon-holers call alt-country releases.It continues down the psychedelic path of its predecessor Lightning at the Door (El Centro is an eight-and-a-half-minute White Manna-style freakout), while keeping some of the steamy, swampy blues rock of their debut Our Mother Electricity (Dirt Preachers is a stomper), but it is what they have added that makes this album so good: a cinematic outlook which serves as a celebration of the large landscape of the US as songs flow into one another like the changing view from a car window; and a vulnerability, world-weariness and melancholy which gives the album real depth and substance.