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Witchcraft Rebellion

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Album Review

Witchcraft Rebellion is easily the most consistent release to date from this raucous, ramshackle trio led by Arrington DeDionyso and featuring the Microphones' Phil Elvrum on drums (who, by the way, is an excellent drummer; he's not on board merely to add name recognition). DeDionyso's singing falls somewhere between Captain Beefheart, Blind Willie Johnson, and Popeye. He screams, hollers, growls, whoops, and hollers throughout these 13 surrealistically bluesy songs. "Mystery Language" is one of the standout Old Time Relijun songs thus far. All the band's trademarks and idiosyncrasies are there: a herky-jerky guitar riff that finds common ground between post-punk angularities and Delta blues, guttural vocals belting out bizarre couplets ("I can take off my head/And so can my dad"), and simple but powerful drumming. Elsewhere, such as "Vampire Sushi," the band gives an absurdist's take on the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion formula, while "King of Nothing" is a gritty postmodern rockabilly tune with a machine-gun rhythm. Witchcraft Rebellion can be a jarring ride at first, but once you are acclimated, it goes down as smooth as any classic R&B.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In January 1995 guitarist/vocalist Arrington de Dionyso was encouraged by the musicians that became Old Time Relijun to assemble a group to perform the compositions that he was writing. The group subsequently signed a recording contract with K Records and released two full-length CDs with the label. Between 1989 and 1995, de Dionyso recorded nine cassettes of homemade music on his four-track recorder, releasing each one on his own label, Pine Cone Alley. De Dionyso played the lion's share of the...
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Witchcraft Rebellion, Old Time Relijun
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