"Warriors & Warlocks"

(Omega Point Records 2005)Mystechs - Warriors & Warlocks

In high school, when my friends were rolling their multisided dice and painstakingly creating characters for their regular games of Dungeons and Dragons, I was gladly absent from their parties. It may be for this reason that the theme of the Mystechs' "Warriors & Warlocks" elicits only a smile out of me at times as troll and elf references fly over my head. But as always, the Mystechs are more about performing their humorous and memorable tunes than taking their chosen topic too seriously.

The Mystechs set the scene for any role playing game with the album's title track and its companion, the reflective "Warriors & Warlocks II," with a light, fun sound that focuses on the vivid and clever lyrics. The thumping disco of "L. Z. L. L. F. N. -- A. R.!!!" (which stands for the song's chorus: "Led Zeppelin laser light, Friday night, all right") segues well with its several Zeppelin references into a laidback cover of "Immigrant Song," bumping and thumping with electronic pulses.

Vocalist Christine Ingaldson breaks her otherwise sweetly delivered vocals to offer a sneering attitude on the speeding punk of "Sweet 666teen" as twanging banjo turns "Zombie Mountain" into an upbeat, foot stamping tune recounting the danger of zombies. Nick Dye takes over on vocals for tracks like the pounding "Mecca Jesus" and the strong and sinister beating, hinting of Marilyn Manson, of "Everyone Must Die, Except..." where Kiera Knightly, Ali G and Dean Ween are among the list to be saved.

Their seventh (!) album in as many years also brings changes, welcoming Ingaldson into the fold and marking what is supposed to be Dye's last album with the band. The Mystechs deliver as expected on "Warriors & Warlocks," mixing fact with fiction and keeping things exciting and spontaneous for an entertaining combination.