Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wizard Smoke "The Speed of Smoke" 12"

Wizard Smoke
The Speed of Smoke
Self Released

I had never heard of Wizard Smoke when I received this and I gotta say I sorta chuckled when I saw the name. I expected some southern rock with tons of weed references. When I got into the record though I gotta say i was pretty surprised. It definitely has a southern feel throughout but there are moments of almost Hawkwind inspired psych and a vocalist that has more in common with black metal singers than with John Garcia. It's actually a pretty cool mix in a 90's Southern Doom Metal sort of way, similar but not exactly like Burning Witch at times. I think this is a band that could fit in nicely in the Southern Lord roster. Although there are a few issues I am not too excited about though. There are some pretty out-of-nowhere vocoder tinged vocals that totally feel out of place. I can't imagine someone in the studio thought that the vocals needed to sound like Styx before it got back to sounding like Buzzoven. Wizard Smoke is awesome enough when they are just blazing through their tracks raw and intense. They do not need any tricks. The record looks pretty great although wherever the jacket was printed doesn't seem to do the best job. It feels kinda flimsy and cheap but the vinyl may be the clearest vinyl I have ever seen. I would suggest checking out this whole record if you get a chance.

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