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.
Witch Mountain’s 2014 release ‘Mobile of Angels’ was huge in almost every sense. It was an album that at first seemed impenetrable, but patience and an ear for doom riffs slowly revealed a dense but lovingly created paean to all things dark – an album that remains undiminished by the intervening years. It also came with an undertone of sadness: between the recording and release of the record, vocalist Uta Plotkin announced her intentions to leave the band…and in turn, left some pretty huge shoes to fill. Having only been a member for a year, bassist Charles Thomas also exited stage left, leaving a somewhat depleted outfit.