Black Sabbath doom and Dick Dale dreaminess find common ground in The Wytches. The English trio quickly established this on their first single, “Wire Frame Mattress,” which got its stateside release back in February. These two dominant influences — early heavy metal and classic surf guitar tones — are treated with impressive depth and nuance on their debut LP, Annabel Dream Reader (out August 26 on Partisan Records). Toss in a dash of punk brattiness and The Wytches start to resemble the Arctic Monkeys — with sludgy feedback where Alex Turner and co. would toss in a pop hook and some lip. It’s definitely worth a listen. We asked the band’s singer and guitarist Kristian Bell to make us a playlist of The Wytches’ surf-rock favorites and explain the picks.
It turns out the band has a generous definition of surf, ranging from godfathers of the genre like Link Wray and The Ventures to unconventional disciples including The B-52’s and the Dead Kennedys. “Surf has influenced our sound quite a lot,” Bell says. “Not solely surf, though — just the guitar work and the scales. These are ten of the songs that we feel best represent our tastes from the surf side of things.”