Dixie Witch – Let It Roll

Let It Roll (2011 Small Stone Records)

Genre: Bong ripping classic rock

Release Date: November 9th, 2011

Label: Small Stone Records

Rating: 9 out of 10 chocolate starfish

It’s been 5 years since their last record, Smoke and Mirrors (Small Stone 2006), was released. This would also be the last record that founding member, Clayton Mills, would play guitar. Generally member replacement can be overcome rather easily, unless you’re a power-trio, who has been a band for over a decade and is in the midst of putting out their fourth record. They knew with a lineup change the comparisons between the past and present were on the way. Pressure? Probably the same kind O.J. experienced when he was asked to try on the legendary “bloody glove” in front of a jury of his peers. Well, Trinidad Leal (drums/vocals) and Curt Christenson (bass/vocals) found their Johnny Cochran. Enter J.T. Smith on guitar. The Dreadlocked Red River Rocker sports ballsy tone, masterful shredding capability, and the knack to lock in with this all-star rhythm section.

It wasn’t 10 minutes after this record hit my mailbox I had the opening track, “Let It Roll“, blistering from my stereo speakers. It also dawns on me as the vocals start how much Trinidad Leal sounds like ’78 era David Lee Roth.  “Let It Roll” is everything an opening song should be. A high-energy ass kickin’ rock anthem that sets the speed for the entire record. The second track, “Boogie Man”, sways more toward the southern-fried roots of the band. This song features the lead vocals of p-bass meister, Curt Christenson, and also features a rhythm change for the guitar solo that hasn’t been pulled off since Skynrd did it in ’76.  Christenson also handles lead vocal duties on the t-tops-rocker,“Saving Grace” and punk infused “Automatic Lady”, the shortest cut on the record. Christenson’s vocal-style leans a little more toward Molly Hatchet than VH, which really helps a simple style from becoming overly monotonous.

It’s still undecided whether “The High Deal” or “Sevens” wins the award for feel good hit of the summer. Everytime Leal opens his mouth and unleashes his signature vocal wail,  “YEEEEEAAAAAAAH!”, which there is no shortage of on this record,  you’re natural inclination is to raise your fist in the air and step on the accelerator.

Unlike your typical commercial release, the album does not bottom out at the half-way point and motors at full-throttle until the end. “Red Song”, “Anthem”, “Second Chance”, and “December” fill out the rest of the wax.

No filler, all thriller! Let it Roll is the most sincere meat and potatoes classic rocker of 2011. The only thing better than hearing the record is seeing it live.

Let it Roll was recorded with Benny Grotto (producer/engineer) from Mad Oak Studios in Allston, Massachusetts. Grotto did a masterful job at capturing the band’s live sound on tape. Major bonus points. Thick, thick, thick. Big Drums, perfectly tweaked vintage bass tone and molten hot lava guitar tones.

Dixie Witch  is currently on tour in Europe with label mates Sasquatch and Roadsaw.

07.10 NL – Sneek, Bollwerk
08.10. GER – Cottbus, Chekov
09.10. GER – Hamburg, Hafenklang
10.10. B – Liege, Carlo Lévi
11.10 UK – Leeds, The Cockpit
12.10 UK – London, Purple Turtle
13.10. NL – Eindhoven, Effenaar
15.10. NOR – Sandnes, Tribute
16.10. NOR – TBA
18.10. GER – Berlin, Wild At Heart
19.10. B – Antwerpen, Trix
20.10. GER – Stuttgart, ZwölfZehn
21.10. I – Milano, Lo-Fi
22.10. I – Roma, Sinister Noise


-Melvin McMichaels