Witching Waves’ Crystal Café is a restless record of noisy guitars, sugary sweet vocals and driving rhythms. Sounding something like the Pixies/Breeders with a bit of riot grrl, Lush and Sonic Youth thrown in for good measure Britain’s Witching Waves create a raucous distorted wall of edginess with just enough pop sensibility to make it all memorable. Not overly produced or even overly played, Crystal Café churns through songs in a torrent of frenzied riffs, shouts, melodies and broken drum heads. It’s all a bit rough and tarnished around the edges but that’s what makes Witching Waves so darn good and fun to jump around to.
Crystal Café is probably the most American record I’ve heard a British band produce since Urusei Yatsura did things like this in the 90’s. And while there are bits and bobs that sound British in their tendencies, most of the songs lend credence to the thought that Witching Waves were raised on 90’s indie rock from the States. Irregardless of origin, the eleven songs that make up Crystal Café are all brilliant and there’s so little wrong with this indie rock gem it’s not even worth mentioning. From the jumpiness of the guitars to the boy girl vocal trade-offs and even the subdued basslines prodding the songs along Witching Waves have stumbled on to some songwriting gold here and it all comes together to make for one heck of a thirty minute ride. Raw, unrefined and fun Crystal Café is a modern indie rock classic and one of the best records of 2016 thus far.