• Record Label: Heavenly
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2014
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Aug 26, 2014
    91
    Anyone weaned on the fizzy punk abandon of Bleach-era Nirvana--that holy union of feedback-dappled punk on metal--will identify almost rapturously with The Wytches’ studied homage.
  2. Mojo
    Sep 12, 2014
    80
    A riotous union of scabrous '60s punk, resonant surf licks and grimy, narcotic song-craft. [Oct 2014, p.94]
  3. Sep 2, 2014
    80
    This is indeed an astonishing and absolutely infectious debut album: the urgency that each and every track is communicated with makes even the smallest detail surface as necessary and never misplaced.
  4. 80
    When The Wytches employ a lighter ‘Suck It And See’-era Arctic Monkeys touch they’re capable of ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ and ‘Track 13’, exceptional songs full of both melody and menace.
  5. Aug 22, 2014
    80
    Annabel Dream Reader feels like the soundtrack to a Tarantino film.
  6. Aug 20, 2014
    80
    At once fragile and boisterous, screaming and wailing, kicking at walls then curled up against them, Annabel Dream Reader is far more accomplished than a debut should be.
  7. Aug 28, 2014
    70
    Drummer Gianni Honey and bassist Daniel Rumsey create a magnificently grungy smear of grinding fuzz, before Bell’s squalling guitar adds just the right amount of 1950s style terror to proceedings. And there are sufficient quantities of those sort of moments to make this a very fine debut.
  8. Aug 28, 2014
    70
    The best tracks, like Burn Out The Bruise and Wire Frame Mattress, possess the lyrical degradation and sludgy rhythms of the early grunge ethos, if being tossed around with the surfing-a-graveyard sounds of L.A. antecedents from right before grunge, notably the Flesheaters and the Gun Club.
  9. Uncut
    Aug 19, 2014
    70
    Bell's racked howl brings a hardcore intensity to it all, but there's bags of melodic nous just below the scorched surface. [Sep 2014, p.81]
  10. 70
    Although this debut LP might have its weaknesses, it might also be a sign of greater things to come.
  11. Under The Radar
    Sep 5, 2014
    65
    An immensely fun, possibly somewhat tongue-in-cheek trip. [Sep/Oct 2014, p.81]
  12. Sep 10, 2014
    60
    The album fails to suspend disbelief. In the end, Annabel Dream Reader is mere pulp fiction.
  13. Q Magazine
    Aug 29, 2014
    60
    Rough, scuzzy and rasping, there's plenty within its tattered edges to enjoy. [Oct 2014, p.120]
  14. Aug 26, 2014
    60
    The Wytches have proved themselves a genuinely intriguing proposition, one with far more up their sleeves than just straight-up punk raucousness, but that also have evidently not quite got a handle on how best to present themselves on record, either--given that this is their first effort, though, that’s entirely forgivable.
  15. Aug 21, 2014
    60
    This is fun, but lacks the variety or genuine edge of their influences to grab a listener by the lapels and hold their attention throughout, whether they like it or not.
  16. Aug 19, 2014
    60
    The Wytches show some genuine promise on Annabel Dream Reader, but they need to come up with a few more ideas of their own in addition to the many clear influences they draw from.
  17. Magnet
    Aug 19, 2014
    60
    Their command of sonic mood is commendable, but without something more to grab hold of, Annabel Dream Reader is just a relentless gut-punch. [No. 112, p.61]
  18. Aug 27, 2014
    58
    Outclassed by their own ambition, the band has aimed Annabel Dream Reader toward the lofty heights of Poe’s glum, fog-shrouded majesty--and winds up hitting, at best, late-period Tim Burton.
  19. 58
    It’s not that The Wytches aren’t capable of ballads or contemplative space, it’s just that they haven’t found a way to do so in a way half as uniquely or powerfully as they have the big, explosive stuff.

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