Sunday, July 22, 2012
While perusing the Wizard Rifle bandcamp page, I noticed their tags include "shred" and "Portland." The former tag is a given once you spin the tunes. The guitar occasionally reminds me if Mick Barr said "fuck it" and started writing riffs for Andrew W.K (but still in 7/8). The drums are anything but shabby--I could use the word "tasteful," but no one actually knows what anyone fucking means by that because for all I know on a good day Chad Kroeger might sit back in his million dollar lawn chair, sipping a twisted tea, thinking to himself, "Damn, but Nickleback is tasteful. Why all the hate, bros?"
Whoa, tangent. I apologize, I've obviously been spending too much time working on my Nicbac-fanfic blog. Anyway, Wizard Rifle's drums are nothing like Nickleback, because--well, frankly--they're good, if not downright great. Never flashy, but always Getting Shit Done™. It's the necessary economy of two person bands. I suppose this is where the "Portland" tag seems especially prescient.
There's a well established tradition of heavy duos from the Pacific Northwest that have paved the way for bands like Wizard Rifle to set up camp and lay down the law. I won't bore you with names (KARP, BIG BUSINESS, godHEADsilo, the core Buzzo/Crover Melvins, whoops...), but you can hear it in the music. It's a unique angst that at times seems may be light hearted, masked by the almost jovial sounding song titles--ain't no crime to have a sense of humor, hombre--but the core of that humor is cynical, pragmatic, pessimistic. It's what separates the PAC NW heavy from the often laughably apocalyptic melodrama of straight up metal. There's ambition tempered with skepticism in a band like Wizard Rifle that keeps them from being the same ol', same ol' chuggo-destructo. That epic-ambition-tempered-skepticism is what keeps them interesting, and makes them awesome.
And if you don't trust me about the humor, check out the track "Leathery Gentlemen" (!) posted below: