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Starbenders’ “Bitches Be Witches” Conjures Rock and Roll Liberation

Every once in a while a mystical album like Starbenders’ Love Potions comes along and completely reinvigorates a genre. Goddess knows, rock and roll needed the infusion of new spirit and magic. Kimmie Shelter and the band conjure up a perfect mixture of rock and roll archetype and swagger that just might save rock music, and liberate your soul along the way. The latest single off the album, “Bitches Be Witches,” aims to do just that. 

Slightly slower in tone than the album’s cosmically orgasmic linchpin “Holy Mother” and devilishly darker than the exuberant “Can’t Cheat Time” (both standout tracks on the album), “Bitches Be Witches” delights with a slow burn that erupts into some enchanting guitar lines that build more of a shrouded metallic atmosphere than a stairway to heaven. It’s Kimi Shelter’s seductive drawl though, which oscillates between a hushed after midnight tone and demoness wail, that forces the spell to the front and center. “Please don’t hate me baby/That’s just how the devil made me” sings Kimi. We wouldn’t have her any other way. The devil broke the mold with Kimi. 

The video for “Bitches Be Witches” summons a deeper aspect to the song with its portrayal of the breaking free of a young nun from her habit, both literally and figuratively. All kinds of metaphors and allegories paying homage to the liberating power of rock and roll being referenced need no further illumination here. The video tells the story way better than I could ever rehash it. 

It’s that enigmatic use of the archetypes, metaphors, and expansive inclusiveness of rock music, and specifically, glam rock with all its interstellar grime and glisten, that makes Starbenders one of the most interesting, attractive, and powerful sounding rock groups of any decade. Illumination of the cosmic in the mundane has always been the hallmark of any art worth its stardust and Starbenders do it better, and with more passion and joy, than most. 

Carolina's based writer/journalist Andy Frisk love music, and writing, and when he gets to intermingle the two he feels most alive. Covering concerts and albums by both local and national acts, Andy strives to make the world a better place and prove Gen X really can still save the world.

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