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Wizard – Marlin, Grog, Madman, And The Bomb (Reissue) Award winner

Wizard
Marlin, Grog, Madman, And The Bomb (Reissue)
by Quinten Serna at 30 June 2020, 6:14 PM

It doesn’t get any more Classic sounding than physically living through the 70s and making music well into the 80s; WIZARD was a marvelous amalgamation of different musical pursuits and ideologies whose confluence brought to the San Francisco and Los Angeles scenes a torrential wave of pure fervent headbanging. Almost all self-taught musicians, “Marlin, Grog, Madman, And The Bomb,” was destined to be either a complete wash or a staple of the era, and to the greatest of everyone’s aspirations from that scene the latter was the obvious option.

How does one start off a Classic sounding record from a band infamous for backyard underage shenanigans? With the track, “Money Talks," of course - a groovy anthem laced with tight riffs, grooves, a near-Funk bass line, and wanting vocals whose message reaches generations beyond intent. “Open Season,” another anthem type of rhythmic pulse drives this song albeit with a much more aggressive groove and biting vocals, the gang vocals Chorus just scream the 80s. Where near every song on the album is cathartic and involving in some manner perhaps the most triumphant of all of these is the song, “Down For The Count,” a hastened and brutal track whose underlying vicious lyrics are sung over a jagged and tight rhythm in a bittersweet delivery completely juxtaposing the meaning to the extremes of the music in a memorable manner. With two different flavors to choose from, “Dyin’ By The Telephone,” has the album release as well as the original 45 recording predating the album to 1983—the song features 3 piece diverging harmonies, relentless driven drums, and a powerful guitar pairing which jumps in and out of divisi.

The magnitude of the band is encapsulated in eternity within the magnitude of the record, where every space is filled with manner of voluminous instrument whose reach knows no bound. For a band with no formal musical training or theoretical knowledge, WIZARD, far exceeded any manner of expectations with, THE SHAGGS, having come to infamy just 15 years before for far less admirable abilities. The guitars are crunchy, clean, and fit perfectly in their space without bleed into the kit, bass, or vocals; the bass is distinct and powerful wherein every pick is clear to hear and only adds emphasis to the rhythm; the drums are balanced, tight, and never miss a single mark; the vocals are impressive beyond measure containing an odd mystifying blend that pairs with the music exceptionally well where it shouldn’t just due to the cleanness of the delivery. Unsigned by their own volition, audiences now have a much greater access to “Marlin, Grog, Madman, And The Bomb.”

Members of the Catchy Chorus Club and infamous at that, WIZARD was a menagerie of musical ideals and crazy ventures, Grog, even managed two black belts while in the band, which isn’t even to mention all the underage drinking, highway sleeping, and milk van driving antics the group got into during their stint. For anyone who lived through the band’s height and reign the album is a grand reminder for a band which carefully and ruthlessly crafted their own identity, a band who was not only a product of the time but as well an epitome of the era, whose reach was unhindered and shows unforgettable, WIZARD, left behind a trailblazing legacy and some great tunes to boot—for anyone unfamiliar with the band, let this album serve as an introduction for what once was, those tumultuous, surly, and livid times which saw the birth of new musical pathologies all of which came from bands just like WIZARD. And while their time has now yet past, the ample succinct notions of the band has carried on beyond the scope of their intentions and landed them into the revered annals of Heavy Metal as unsung heroes.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Money Talks
2. Open Season
3. Here Comes Trouble
4. Silent Is the Night
5. Sexual Stimulation
6. Dyin’ by the Telephone
7. Down for the Count
8. Born Loser
9. Dyin’ by the Telephone (From Vinyl)
10. Down for the Count (From Vinyl)
Lineup:
Todd “The Bomb” – Bass and Backing Vocals
Gerry “Madman” Johnston – Drums
Grog – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Perry Marlin – Vocals
Record Label: Heaven And Hell Records
     


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