Wizard Rifle are a two piece noise rock band from Portland, Oregon. They began thrilling (and terrifying) audiences in 2010. This self titled release from 2019 is their first for Svart Records (home to Witch Mountain, Harvest, Brutus and various bands with Scandinavian sounding names), but despite making the leap from DIY recordings to signing a cult metal oriented label with a keen fan-base, Wizard Rifle haven’t become any more commercial. Their self titled record features just five tracks, but within those lengthy arrangements you’ll find sections of music which seem bolted together and huge slabs of music created from mangled riffs and sludgy sounds. Always with an ear on sculptures more than songs, it’s tiring…but also brilliant. Hearing Wizard Rifle for the first time is like experiencing Buzz Osborne from Melvins jamming with the now defunct That Fucking Tank while disturbed people shout randomly. With every listen after that, something new comes through; new noises, new howls of pain…but you’ll never forget that initial experience. And it is an experience.
Following 2018’s ironically titled ‘Greatest Hits’, “sparkling gloom” band Green Piece’s 2019 EP ‘Whatever’ displays a slacker’s sense of humour contrasted with some some pretty tough power pop chops. One of the best examples of their sound to date, ‘Stacy’s Dad’ openly mocks Fountains of Wayne, at least on the surface – and fans of that band will love these guys – but scratching a little deeper, it’s a track that brings together broader influences.
Before exploring any of the music on this release, let’s get one of the only negatives out of the way first: Plastic is not a very good band name. It’s a nightmare for search engine effectiveness and not especially memorable. Thankfully, Plastic are a great band and their 2019 EP ‘Drink Sensibly’ is an aural tour-de-force that fuses grungy elements with a punky sharpness, resulting in three tracks that sometimes sound like the work of a band fit to burst.
Scandinavian indie band Spielbergs released one of the best albums of 2018 with their full length debut ‘This Is Not The End’. An album drenched in 90s influences, its retro charm is deserving of a wider audience. [Read a full review here].
In September, they return to UK shores for their own headline tour. All of the confirmed dates – along with other details – can be found in the press release below.
Falling Stacks’ 2015 EP ‘No Wives’ has been referred to as “critically lauded, but non-selling”, an approach that very much shows a humour when trying to promote music that definitely isn’t going to appeal to anyone within the mainstream. Their 2019 EP ‘Sarcastic Clap’ is by turns angular and oddly funky; noisy yet arty…but always disarming.