Witterquick – ‘Fire & Ice’

By Mark Johnson

Witterquick’s debut EP ‘Beneath the Spinning Lights’ set a high bar for the band to follow. Consistent, well-produced and surprisingly refined for a first effort, the pressure to continue the impressive momentum was always going to be high. The electronic-effect opening of ‘Shattered Suns’ teases the idea that moving in a different direction may be the best way to top the previous effort, but once the crisp snare, strong opening chords and Will Alford’s characteristic vocals spring into life, it’s clear that this is business as usual for Witterquick. Their debut EP was crammed full of uplifting, pop-driven alt-rock tracks and ‘Fire & Ice’ continues in the same way.

‘Lie to Me’ is a wonderful example of the warmth that swells from the band’s sound. A driving drum rhythm provides the perfect foot-tapping tempo, behind gently strummed guitars that comfort and caress, before Alford’s vocals wrap you in a warm embrace. Over the course of two EPs, this soothing atmosphere has become Witterquick’s signature characteristic and it’s becoming an addictive quality.

The electronic effects return on ‘Hiding Place’ and provide an interesting embellishment to the band’s sound, demonstrating their desire to keep refining and perfecting their style. ‘I Need A Friend’ is a clever track to include, adding a slower, brooding atmosphere to show off the band’s ability to vary pace and emotion, for an effective end to the EP.

Throughout ‘Fire & Ice’, Alford’s vocal melodies don’t pack the kind of immediate punch you expect from pop-driven alt-rock but they’re packed full of slow-release energy instead, keeping them going for hours. Long after you’ve turned the record off, don’t be surprised to catch yourself humming the melodies later: these are careful chosen hooks that stick in your head, making them far more potent than quick-win, disposable choruses.

‘Fire & Ice’ sees Witterquick continue on an impressive trajectory with another set of refined, accomplished songs to add to their arsenal. Following an impressive debut EP is a difficult achievement, but thanks to consistent, high-quality songwriting, they’ve managed to keep the momentum going to produce more of the same. With the foundations firmly set, hopefully the band can start thinking about a full-length record and appearances at UK festivals, as their achievements to date certainly warrant the opportunity.

MARK JOHNSON

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