Take even a cursory glance at the gloriously garish cover art before ye, and this much is exceedingly clear: Long Island's own Gorilla Wizard know how to have a good time. Their debut album, Tales From the Cauldron, is a bombastic and rip-roaring piece o' work, through and through. If you're not in the mood for high-energy fun, this wasn't made with you in mind. Don't really know what else to say.
Chunky grooves and contiguously crunchy riffs rule the roost. You know what I'm talkin' about--the kind of sasquatchian chest-beating riffs that lumber into the swamp and then back out again, dripping and covered in gunk, without a goddamn care in the world.
As much of the album operates according to this simple but effective guitar-driven approach, any tracks I would consider standouts simply apply the formula most egregiously. "Smashosaurus," "Maple Crunch," and "Black and Blue" are perhaps the most memorable moments, and the best introduction to Gorilla Wizard's jubilant brand in general.
The heftier tracks here are neckwringingly rambunctious by nature, and the combo of thick bass + deathy belches and howls top everything off with glorious gusto. That said, Gorilla Wizard do take a few pit stops in goofy stoner rock territory, which helps balance things out a tad.
While lacking cohesion and polish, Tales From The Cauldron is a damn fun ride--silly by nature, but perfectly capable of eliciting a headbanging bout to rival the best of 'em. Gauging from the energy coming off this outfit in this contained form, I'd put money down that these boys go absolute apeshit live and unrestrained. Bottom line: Gorilla Wizard offer a burly and hairy-knuckled "F U" to pretension, and that is something I am always here for. Give this one a listen, if ye please!
Gorilla Wizard - Tales From The Cauldron was released Aug. 2019
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.