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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Seven Inches o' Red Wizard

I'm no fidelity purist. Really, I'm not. As my vinyl stacks expand, I'm regularly comforted by that crackle, the persistent "pop and hiss" vinyl produces. And those assholes that say it's just a myth, that digital actually sounds better than the coziest of sonic vehicles because no sound is lost or interrupted... Who knows, maybe they're right. But I know what I hear. And perhaps the pops and hisses only result from nicks and scratches, dusted from ages of sitting at sixty degrees when your old man decided he was tired of your shit and wanted high school out of his memory. I don't care.

I can't argue for or against vinyl or digital. When one sounds mossy and organic, the other sounds crisp and modern. Test convenience versus nostalgia, and it's a matter of preference. But when San Diego's Red Wizard dealt three tracks on seven inches of white wax, I knew digital was getting kicked at its knees. Some tracks, some bands simply can't reach their full scope through a pair of headphones. They need to blast from speakers, beyond greasy beards, between lusterless locks and into your hazy minds. The experience only comes full circle with a velvet sidecar; only vinyl's gonna suffice, brother. So about those seven inches...

On these three tracks o' cock-'n-roll, complete with guitar stutter and thunderous drums cascading under a torrid bass clip, Red Wizard wanna make your panties drip through just a bit more. I've been to San Diego, and the glamorous pussy could inspire any stoner rocker to thrust up a bit. Piledriver is that steadily-driven guitar cruise glazed over with slick plucks. All you need is a barroom drawl and some hard repetition under the guise of throwback, and confidence bulges through tight, beer-soaked denim. Shitbrainz is fuzzier, hastier, shiftier... Guitars sway through decades past as Baucum's pipes let themselves go. Blending classic nods with contemporary middle-finger swagger comes all-too-easily for these dudes, tickling clouds with guitar-tongues and cruising toward a sticky, delicious closing putsch.

But fucking hell, Red Wizard had to pull out their dicks and tackle one of Sabbath's finest. Their slower, more distant homage to Birmingham's pioneers sticks to The Wizard's bare bones, but it also has no problem letting itself drift. There's more space, more expanse, and ultimately more mind-melt. This is just gruff fun, and to do it without losing any edge off the original is no small feat. And oh... that harmonica! Flesh and tendon are all but stripped and draped, but the gaps haven't been merely filled; they've been flattened.

Good luck prying this from your old man's clutches once he gets a taste. In fact, just leave him in the dark for this one. His blood pressure's high enough already. Check out STB Records at noon on March 28th to snag this in red or white.

7" EP editions:

Not So Standard Edition (Opaque Solid White Vinyl) - 125 pieces
Die Hard Edition (Opaque Red Vinyl) - 75 pieces

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