Review Summary: "That is strength boy! That is power! The strength and power flesh..."
Applying some sort of thesis statement to Wizard Rifle's debut Speak Loud Say Nothing would be a fruitless task. Not only does the band constantly hop genres in a fantastically mathy fashion, but the places they go with their music is anything but trite or predictable. Imagine if you will, The Dillinger Escape Plan playing sludge, doom metal and psychedelic rock, and now imagine if you will, said band only has two members. Yes, Wizard Rifle are duo; one on guitar, and one drums, sharing the vocal duties.
If one had to apply any one exceeding quality to Speak Loud Say Nothing is would be just how goddamn catchy it is. Whatever kind of energetic music these guys are playing at any given second, it's always instantaneously palpable while remaining complex and active enough to stay fresh for a hell of a long while.
"That is strength boy! That is power! The strength and power of flesh..."
Indeed, its Wizard Rifle's humanity that gives it that special something that so much modern metal lacks. Speak Loud Say Nothing drips with personality. From the hyperrealistic album cover to the eccentric lyrics to the hints of psychedelic influences scattered about the slew of sludgy doom riffs, the duo never lose sight of what makes music special in the first place; its power to bring ideas and people together. From the chorus hook of Tears Of Won't Soften Steel to the reverb-laden all-you-can-riff-buffet that is Megatherium there's always something happening that reminds you this album is all flesh, and no fill.
Personality aside, Speak Loud Say Nothing has fundamental brilliance underlying its entire concept. Individually each track hosts a fantastic bombardment of variety, but taken as a whole release, the trve genius behind Wizard Rifle can really be revealed. At 38 minutes the album can be easily absorbed in one listen, and rightfully so. The songwriting is absolutely top-notch. To span so many genres of agressive music while retaining coherency and originality is no easy task. Where band's like BTBAM faceplant in the dirt before even taking off, Wizard Rifle craft wholly comprehendible concepts connected by that redeeming quality mentioned earlier, their humanity.
Yet as any good band does band, Wizard Rifle doesn't fail to present its own internal paradox of qualities. While being organic, down to earth, catchy as hell and downright fun, Speak Loud Say Nothing is an alien presentation of eclectic ideas and unorthodox Mike Patton-esque brilliance. If Wizard Rifle's music isn't taking you on a tour of a mescaline-induced alien planet of psychedelic orgasms, than they're playing right in front of your face, in the flesh, down in a smoky unfinished basement venue; regardless of where you actually happen to be in space-time. After all, thats what good songwriting really boils down to, its ability to transport the listener somewhere else entirely, whether it be a fantasy world or a mosh pit; and Speak Loud Say Nothing instantly sweeps you off your feet and never brings you down.
To delve any further into hyperbolic praise and frivilous comparisons is moot. All that need be said is that if you're high as hell and the interdimensional jewl-encrusted elf clowns won't stop stealing your hands, than make haste and put this beauty on, tune in and drop out.
2012 was a solid year for music, and for any fan of eccentric, catchy and thought-provoking metal, Speak Loud Say Nothing should be damn near the top of their AOTY list.