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L.A. Witch | Play With Fire

The might put a spell on you — or they might just spike your drink & steal your car.


“I wanna lose,” sings L.A. Witch guitarist and vocalist Sadie Sanchez. Can’t see that happening. Unless they suddenly and foolishly start making way shittier albums than Play With Fire.

The trio’s third studio release pays homage to SoCal’s punk past and psychedelic heyday with a dark set of slashing, thumping gems that smoulder and smoke — and occasionally burst into open flame. Sure, they might put a spell on you. But they’re just as likely to spike your drink, steal your car and clean out your bank account. Who’s the loser now?

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Where L.A. Witch’s self-titled album oozed with vibe and atmosphere, with the whole mix draped in reverb, sonically placing the band in some distant realm, broadcast across some unknown chasm of time, Play With Fire comes crashing out of the gate with a bold, brash, in-your-face rocker Fire Starter. The authoritative opener is a deliberate mission statement. “Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen,” says Sadie Sanchez. “Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.” And by that line of reasoning, Fire Starter becomes a call to action, an anthem against apathy. From there, the album segues into the similarly bodacious rocker Motorcycle Boy — a feisty love song inspired by classic cinema outlaws like Mickey Rourke, Marlon Brando, and Steve McQueen. At Track 3, we hear L.A. Witch expand into new territories as Dark Horse unfurls a mixture of Dust Bowl folk, psychedelic breakdowns, and fire-and-brimstone organ lines. And from there, the band only gets more adventurous. Play With Fire is a bold new journey that retains L.A. Witch’s siren-song mystique, nostalgic spirit, and contemporary cool. Despite the stylistic breadth of the record, there is a unifying timbre across the album’s nine tracks, as if the trio of young musicians is bound together as a collective of old souls tapping into the sounds of their previous youth.”