It won’t be too long into opener “Night of the Blackwitch” from Portland gurgle-doomers Blackwitch Pudding‘s new EP, Covered in Pudding Vol. 1, before something starts to ring awfully familiar. The be-robbed trio present four tracks on their latest self-released outing, each derived from a classic rock staple. In the case of “Night of the Blackwitch,” it’s Roky Erickson‘s “Night of the Vampire,” and Blackwitch Pudding tear into it and make it dank nasty: a stoned-out, tonal-overload gruel, grandiose only in its burn and lurch. The method soon becomes a running theme.
Their 2013 full-length debut, Taste the Pudding (review here), proffered similar extremity and weedian charm, but Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 wins out easily in terms of cleverness. To take Rush‘s “Working Man” and turn it into “Toke’n Man,” adjusting the lyrics accordingly, gleefully knuckledrags on sacred ground, and as KISS‘ “God of Thunder” becomes “Gods of Grungus,” I’m ready to declare the idiocy brilliant. Space Wizard (guitar), Lizard Wizard (bass) and Wizard Wizard (drums) channel a doomed-out, pot-addled Weird Al across these four tracks, and while each song obviously owes its debt to the original, there’s no question that the lunacy ensuing is their own.
When it comes to 10-minute closer “Bong Hits and Lust,” I’m almost hesitant to give away what classic song it uses for a foundation. If you can get it from the title, more power to you, but I had to hear it before recognizing, and I think that only made it more enjoyable, so I won’t spoil it. The band, speaking as a unified whole, were kind enough to take time away from their potions and spells and whatever it is a wizard does these days — hedge funds? — to give a track-by-track account that subtly hints at the origins of Covered in Pudding Vol. 1‘s four components, and if nothing else, it’s a great read.
The EP officially releases Aug. 12. I hope this isn’t the last time they do this, and that Vol. 2 isn’t far off. Enjoy:
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Blackwitch Pudding, Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 track-by-track
“Night of the Blackwitch”
We wrote this song about our cosmic witch-mother, the Blackwitch. She has a wicked way with pudding. She birthed us from pudding, raised us in the pudding and taught us how to spread the pudding. We figured she could use a theme song for when she’s having a good old broom-grinding get down. With a, ahem, Roky set of vocals this song spreads itself over your audio palate with long, smooth strokes of heavy psychedelia.
This song is about your everyday, blue-collared herbalist. Just as every man must be the king of his own castle, he must also strive to be the man who tokes the most. We wizards live this to the core; there truly is a toke’n man in all of us. There is no need to rush into this one — it is slow, heavy and triumphant. This rocket ship of a stoner anthem will blast you into outer space.
“Gods of Grungus”
Back in ’63 — 1663, that is — we used to party pretty hard. The age of witchcraft was upon us and we had just been busted stealing weed from our pops (the devil). He’s a pretty cool guy so he let us keep it and told us to “thunder on like gods of the night.” This song is a documented recording of a real wizard party. When you listen to this song we command you to party along because you know somewhere we are partying with you.
“Bong Hits and Lust”
It must have been around 1581, and we were somewhere near Trier in West Germany, having a good time getting down with some frisky witches doing some excellent black sorcery. Sooner or later this douchebag Archbishop Johann von Schöneburg and his army of priests showed up and ordered all the witches dead. We were pretty hammered, and by the time we woke up a few years later, over 300 perfectly radical witch-babes had been slayed. Needless to say, we took it pretty hard, and over the course of the next couple hundred years created this epic tribute to the bongs and broads and Bob Dylan of the middle ages.Blackwitch Pudding, Blackwitch Pudding Covered in Pudding Vol. 1, Covered in Pudding Vol. 1, Oregon, Portland