Bad Wizard
"Sky High"

(Howler Records 2006)Bad Wizard - Sky High

Take a trip (no pun intended) and return to the laid back era of rock and roll that was the 1970s. Based in New York City, Bad Wizard has a sound more dense than their breezy and hassle-free West Coast peers. The band's fourth full-length release, "Sky High" is a full rock album that dabbles in psychedelic and heavy metal while relying solely on their tight instrumentation to deliver the goods.

Drums crash and pound while guitar riffs slide and come flying at you, shot out rapid fire, on "Jealous Man," the whining instrumentation putting to work retro rock lessons and fusing to them together with a modern flair. Front man Curtis Brown's gruff vocals really pop out on the gentle ballad "Black Navigator." On "Slow Down," Bad Wizard take a spin with the laid back attitude and riff driven rock that has defined former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork's solo career while the churning rock on "13x Around The World" and "Strawberry" hold little back in their audio assault. Coming full circle, Bad Wizard bring it all together with the crashing instrumentation on "Pass it On," going for a psychedelic sound with bongos and trippy background vocals.

When Bad Wizard tells you to "get in the van" on "Slow Down," you act first and ask questions later. Never too serious, Bad Wizard make "Sky High" into an extremely palatable rock ride that throws in all the slick instrumental tricks you want to hear but none of the knob twiddling tricks that skew reality.

B

buy it!