The football fanatics of Sunderland haven’t had much to smile about in recent years. Watching their team plummet from the world stage of the Premier League down to the grind of League One can’t have been easy. Luckily, their music scene hasn’t suffered the same grim fate.
Three-piece post-punkers White Legs have recently offered up their debut studio EP Wicked Witch. So on a cold, wet January evening, I sat down in the nearest Costa, tucked myself away in the corner and, headphones at the ready, turned the volume up to eleven.
From the opening track, the eponymous Wicked Witch, one thing immediately stands out about White Legs, and that’s the harmonies. There is a strangely alluring dissonance created in the dual vocals that are present throughout the EP that lends itself to the lyrical content. They sing with earnest vitriol, blasted out through a distinctive North Eastern twang. Wicked Witch seems to speak of the paranoia of modern relationships; however, my less pretentious side tells me it could simply be about a fairy tale wicked witch, and I like that.
From there, On Your Terms ups the tempo and gets the blood racing quicker. Catchy guitar hooks dance atop a robust and powerful rhythm section that suggests this trio would be a thrill to see live. This is most obvious in the song Wish List, which leans more towards punk than pop. You get the sense that each instrument has its unique personality, which is always the sign of a great three-piece.
The final song, New Bridges, combines elements from the previous three with a somewhat more sombre, reflective approach. It’s a fitting end to the EP in which I found myself wanting more as the final moments of lead guitar faded out.
Featuring Jordan Hill, Marty Longstaff and Richard Amundsen, formerly of bands This Aint Vegas, B>E>A>K, and The Lake Poets, the EP feels complete, like a band that knows it’s identity and has no fear of showing it. With Wicked Witch, you’d feel just as at home in the mosh pit as you would at the back of the gig holding your pint and taking it all in, and this makes it all the more exciting to see where they go next. Keep an eye out for these boys in 2020!