First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2006, Volume 13, #3
Written by John Metzger
Since its Southern genesis, Bad Wizard, which is now based in Brooklyn, has earned a reputation as a hard rocking outfit that is utterly unapologetic about its infatuation with heavy metalís stoned and drunk progenitors. Idolizing its heroes almost to a fault, the group continues throughout its latest endeavor Sky High to fuel its testosterone-soaked riffs with odes to everyone from Uriah Heep to Black Sabbath. Jealous Man is a throwback to Deep Purpleís Machine Head; Black Navigator draws Crazy Horse through Dinosaur Jr.; and the sprawling final track Pass It On is well-primed to be a concert staple that inevitably devolves into an obligatory drum solo. Of course, there always will be a market for beer-swilling, bong-hitting, blue collar boogies, and Bad Wizardís ability to channel the past so precisely (and so seriously) means that its retro-revivalist musings are likely to please anyone who is too young to remember the early í70s. Nevertheless, with four albums under its belt, the ensemble ought to have a more distinctive identity by now, and considerably more problematic is the notion that none of the songs on Sky High are particularly memorable.
Sky High is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box