Unlike most of its hard-rockin' new millennium counterparts, Texas trio Dixie Witch rarely explodes into manic spells of stoner rock head-banging, but rather tends to lay back and coast along laid-back highways paved by Southern rock grooves. The piss-poor production values aside, there's much to love in the band's second album, One Bird, Two Stones, which features a wealth of inspired head-nodding anthems like "Drifting Lady," "Makes Me Crazy," and especially the Skynyrd-esque "The Wheel." Singing drummer Trinidad Leal employs a convincing Dave Wyndorf-styled moan 'n' yowl technique on both the unusually hard-driving "Turbo Wing" and the more typical stride of "On My Way," while the standout "More of a Woman" simply flips the guitar riff from Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" inside out. And to wrap things up with a flourish, lengthy, lazy closer "Traveler" offers an admirable tour de force by guitarist Clayton Mills, including electric, slide, and acoustic work. With so much strong material weighing in the album's favor, it's really a pity having to deal with such a frustratingly muddy sound mix, but then perhaps this is as Dixie Witch intended. Whatever the case, most lovers of gritty and honest Southern rock are likely to forgive these technical issues in order to see through to the great tunes below.
|Label:||Small Stone Records|