Wizards are ass-backwards and it’s beautiful

Wizards’ latest album – SDRAZIW – is filled to the brim with epic instrumental breaks and a tighter version of the surf-infused garage rock we’ve come to love from the Saskatoon natives.

But let’s start at the beginning.

It’s been two years since the band released new music (not including their contribution to a 7″ split with label-mates the FAPS in September), so we only had 2013’s Loser Surf Death to satiate our appetites. As such, I was lecturing a colleague about the greatness of that four-song EP, when not a few hours later I got an email from the band with a link to their debut full-length.

Wizards-SDRAZIWThis latest record is the perfect introduction to the band for those just learning about them. It doesn’t have that immediately catchy open that Loser Surf Death did, but it doesn’t have that fading kitschiness either.

This time around, ‘Journeybone’ opens the album. It’s a soaring instrumental number that establishes the group’s surf/dream-pop sound. It’s a lot more polished than their previous efforts, making me excited for the future of Wizards.

‘Purple House’, meanwhile, is a psych-heavy number with commanding vocals, a glorious nod to their earlier sound. ‘Undone’ follows a track later, lulling you into a serene dream and proving the band can seamlessly transition between sounds.

‘Party Pooper’ shifts the record back to the funky surf sound that Wizards are so good at – think Beach Boys on acid. This track is so captivating, too, which is rare for instrumentals.

Wizards‘Manikewan Ocean Dreams’ is a rockier tune with deep throaty vocals. The distortion on the lead guitar here is the perfect contradiction to a clean snare, and only Wizards could make that work.

‘Love’ carries on that whistling psych-noise with a heavy garage flare, while ‘Heaven’s Full’ shows the band having fun (just take a listen for a pleasant surprise).

Now isn’t that the hallmark of a great album? A cohesive sound that’s able to deviate at will; that’s what we have with SDRAZIW.

For more on Wizards, visit their Facebook or their website.

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