Although the differences between Bad Wizard and the aforementioned Keane are voluminous enough to fill several sets of encyclopedias, they share at least one major characteristic: a fundamental lack of originality. But unlike Keane, whose members clearly aspire to pop-music immortality, the Wizards, appearing alongside 3 Inches of Blood and Early Man, have a more modest ambition -- to rawk every intelligent thought out of their fans' brains. And by that standard, Sky High, their new CD on the Howler label, is an unalloyed success. Produced by Royal Trux alum Jennifer Herrema, choice cuts such as "He's a Rat" and "Strawberry" offer a treasure trove of dumbness: the dueling guitars of Tina Gorin and Eddie Lynch, stegosaurus rhythms provided by drummer John Sherman and bassist Kurt Midness, plus Curtis Brown's throat-ripping, codpiece-straining vocals. Edifying they're not, and neither do they explore territory that's escaped the attention of stoner rockers who came before them. But for listeners wanting nothing more from a show than bludgeoning riffs presented with gusto, Bad Wizard has the magic touch.
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