Sunday, 11 October 2015

MOJO WIZARD ~ EP review

Electric Wizard, Red Wizard, Black Wizard the underground scene seems to drag up a new "Wizard" named band every other week! Well this week it's the turn of Canada to deliver the goods and they have done in the shape of Quebec's MOJO WIZARD!

Rico Desjardins (vocals), Karim M'Sallem  (Guitar), Guillaume Couture (Bass) and Maxime Lussier (Drums and Percs.) are the four guys who make up Mojo Wizard and are also the ones responsible for the bands stunning new self-titled EP.

Rooted in the blues but with a healthy respect for fuzz pedals and distortion the band's sound sits somewhere between the boogie of ZZ Top and the more out there aspects of that other Texas band Wo Fat.
Opening with 1:13 seconds of incendiary guitar noodling for the first track, the  aptly named "Intro" the band then settle into some psychedelic blues with next track "Sweet Baby Death". Desjardins delivering old clich├ęd lyrics like "I wanna be your man" with such a conviction you will be fooled into thinking you've never heard the line before! Clean, clear and with a tone that is more Alabama than Quebec he brings a rootsy authenticity to the songs blues/psych groove that takes it out of the ordinary and into the realms of extra special.
"Passionate Beast" begins with a majestic bass line from Couture that paves the way for M'Sallem's guitar and Lussier's drums to arrive in thunderous unison, the formers guitar wailing banshee-like and the latter pounding his skins like a madman. Desjardins vocal in turn switches from anguished crooned pleading to indignant angry frustration and touches on every emotion in between.
"Wild Love" drops the pace for a bluesy semi ballad that is taken to another level by a gut wrenching, soul shaking guitar solo from  M'Sallem the sheer emotion of his solo raising the hairs on the back of your neck and sending shivers down the spine.
The fuzz takes over for the next song "Red Machine" its stop start groove morphing into a full on stoner blues fuzz fest before Desjardins brings things to an end unaccompanied on the final verse.
"You're Me" closes the EP with a bit of down home blues boogie with M'Sallem, Couture and Lussier laying down a delicious platter of up tempo blues grooves over which Desjardins whoops, hollers and croons his way to the songs glorious last chord.
Blues rock can, in the wrong hands, be a little stale and derivative but Mojo Wizard have managed to avoid this by adding a little stoner grit and attitude to proceedings and reinvigorated the blues for today. Check 'em out....

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