Chicagoan rockers Wizzo are nothing if not eclectic in their approach to putting together and album. On the standout track from their new album, Most Severe Crisis, the woozy yet hard-hitting End is Nigh, they weave together such disparate names as Crosby Stills and Nash, Black Sabbath and Silverchair to produce a swirling, maelstromic sound that envelops the listener in a headrush of sweet melody and battering rifferama. It’s extremely effective and, perhaps more importantly, incredibly enjoyable.
Of course, mixing the delicate and the brutish is nothing new in 2022 – there are moments on MSC where you’ll be convinced you’re listening to as-yet-unreleased Alice in Chains studio offcuts – but Wizzo attack the job in hand with such skill and unapologetic gusto that it’s hard not to come away from the album feeling completely energised and enlivened by what you’ve just heard. The vocals of Anthony Cwan and Quentin Poynter (who also contributes to the Wizzo guitar storm with six string partner RB Green) ooze like honey out of an overfilled sandwich, covering everything they touch in a sweetly glutinous haze, neatly juxtaposing the at times savage manner in which Poynter and Green are having at your ears with their axes at the same time.
In quieter moments, as on proggy closer Godless Interval, Poynter adds synths to the mix and Kyle Tuggle‘s bass comes nicely to the fore, locking in with rhythm partner Garry Naples. As a whole, the way this quintet move from mood to mood is a delight, and at times the tracks act in concert with one another to form what seem like movements in a larger, pulsing concerto of psych-rock goodness. But whether you take Most Severe Crisis in small doses or as a deliriously immersive whole, there’s an awful lot of enjoyment to be derived from Wizzo’s latest opus. Highly recommended!
Most Severe Crisis is out now