Pumarosa - The Witch
Too often debut albums are over-hyped or heavily trailed by numerous singles or an EP or two. Pumarosa have taken the second route but their first full length attempt still arrives as somewhat of a surprise. The Londoners have built a unique sound and across the ten tracks of The Witch allow themselves the room to breathe and to build their own world. Revolving around the voice of band anchor Isabel Munoz-Newsome, they've crafted a whirling, industrial sound that they're not afraid to explore.
In the best way possible opening track 'Dragonfly' has some similarities in sound with Zooropa-era U2, specifically the clanging metal effect of the guitars. The real jewels in the crown are the pairing of the title track, and it's repeating central mantra ("Gonna build myself a fire / And warm my monkey hands") that spins off four minutes in to wind and thunder its way into the seven plus minute wonder that is 'Priestess'. For a debut album it's a bravura moment that could crush a less self assured and interesting band. But Pumarosa are supremely confident in themselves and their sound, whether it's the slow burn anger of 'Lion's Den', the shimmering synth hum of 'Snake' or the rhythmic drive of 'Hollywood' this is the most satisfying of albums.