Black Monk Records (Oct 2015)
If you love eyeball-quivering, psychedelic heaviness, it doesn’t get much better than Wizard Eye. Primitive, sharp and absorbing, the Philadelphia trio’s third album is a triumph of fuzzy fury.
Harking back to the lumbering rock behemoths of the 1970s and the stoner metal kings of the 1990s, there is a monstrous groove underpinning every moment of this self-titled release.
Opening track ‘Eye Of The Deep’ is a swirling, volcanic eruption of a song, fuzzy as a were-peach, heavy as a brain haemorrhage. It merges into ‘Flying/Falling’ which continues the ecstatic riff-driven slo-mo mayhem as well as introducing the exhausted, beautifully ragged vocals of Erik Caplan.
Then ‘Phase Return’ steamrollers your day like Ian Kilmister treading through tar. Oddly, the next track, ‘Graybeard’ is really similar – but it’s such a soul-numbing riff that you can understand why the band wanted to go again.
Other tracks tend to lose their early momentum, and in fact the album – recorded back in early 2014 – fades a little towards the end. The vocals are powerful but lack the degree of melody and versatility which might help to create a more textured emotional experience.
‘My Riposte Is Like Lightning’ changes the mood a little, adding a bit of pace and attitude, while ‘Nullarbor’ is a jangly, spiritual drifter. That aside, you shouldn’t expect anything experimental; songs such as ‘Thunderbird Divine’ add little to the pantheon of East Coast doom, but they are likely give you a considerable headache, and sometimes that’s plenty.
Pummeling your ear-holes like a mix of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and an angry space hippo, Wizard Eye are masters of tripping the fuzz fantastic.