Old Man Wizard Premiere “Innocent Hands” Video; New Single out Aug. 25

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

old man wizard

To be sure, the progressive metal stylings of Old Man Wizard make them an outlier among San Diego’s crowded heavy underground, which is overflowing with sunny Californian heavy psychedelia and even at its proggiest seems to maintain some loyalty to ’70s-style boogie rock, but the truth of the matter is one would be hard-pressed to find somewhere the three-piece wouldn’t stand out from the crowd. And that is very much part of the appeal. After touring to support their 2013 debut LP, Unfavorable (review here), guitarist/vocalist Francis Roberts, bassist/vocalist Andre Beller and drummer/vocalist Kris Calabio receded somewhat, but their new single Innocent Hands arrives this month in time for another stretch of West Coast dates and finds their quirk-laden prog-doom at a welcome next stage of its development.

That sense comes through quickly in the driving rhythm and melodic resonance of the titular cut. While it starts out with a blastbeaten thrust that feels derived from extreme metal, “Innocent Hands” is just as fast to set its foundation in Roberts‘ gentle vocals, giving a sense of contrast that lends breadth to what’s still a 7″-ready sub-five-minute runtime. A couple cycles through the verse leads to denser riffing that seems to old man wizard innocent handsplay Opethian and Enslaved-style impulses off each other while filtering the result through a rocker’s urgency, and as Calabio and Beller join Roberts in the chorus line, “Rain falls on innocent hands,” the harmonies make the song a distinct highlight worthy of carrying its own release. That is, it stands up as a single, and with “The Blind Prince” as a complementary B-side, the vibe is reaffirmed in a post-Ghostly melodicism and tense instrumental progression. Shorter and in more of a rush, “The Blind Prince” nonetheless braces “Innocent Hands” with a like-minded rhythmic engagement and energized delivery. While they haven’t been putting out a slew of offerings in the four years since Unfavorable, clearly Old Man Wizard haven’t been wasting their time either.

They take to the hills in the clip for “Innocent Hands” that’s premiering below, or at very least to a hill, and with the sun behind them, and a hilariously unacknowledged druid walking past at about the two-minute mark and with at least Beller and Calabio in Witch Ripper t-shirts — Roberts might be as well, it’s kind of hard to see — they give a subtle sense of the tongue-in-cheek persona of the band, which does nothing to cut the progressive value of the songcraft at play. That is to say, just because they’re enjoying themselves doesn’t make Innocent Hands any less of an accomplishment.

Tomorrow they begin the alluded-to West Coast tour that will take them from Tijuana, Mexico, up to Washington State before coming to a close Aug. 23 with a hometown San Diego show. You’ll find the dates for that under the player that follows, which of course contains the video premiere.

To please enjoy:

Old Man Wizard, “Innocent Hands” official video

Progressive heavy rock band OLD MAN WIZARD return with their new single Innocent Hands. The track will be released on 7″ vinyl and will be sold on their upcoming tour in August. The “B” side will be “The Blind Prince”.

OLD MAN WIZARD TOUR DATES:
8/11 Tijuana, BC Mi Pueblito
8/13 San Francisco, CA The Hemlock
8/15 San Jose, CA The Caravan
8/17 Portland, OR The Highwater Mark
8/18 Seattle, WA The Victory Lounge
8/19 Anacortes, WA Kenelly Keys
8/20 Tacoma, WA The Valley
8/22 Los Angeles, CA The Lexington
8/23 San Diego, CA Soda Bar

Old Man Wizard is:
Francis Roberts – Guitar, Vocals
Kris Calabio – Drums, Backing Vocals
Andre Beller – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Old Man Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Old Man Wizard on Twitter

Old Man Wizard on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Old Man Wizard West Coast Tour Begins Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Call them the highwaymen. Inventive, progressive Southern California trio Old Man Wizard have announced a two-week West Coast run in support of their impressive late-2013 debut LP, Unfavorable (review here). The tour will begin next Friday in San Diego and wrap in Los Angeles — the band makes its home in both cities — on Aug. 2, with not a day off in between.

It’s an ambitious course for the three-piece to set as their first tour, but I’m sure they’ll come out of it with a few new friends made along the way and probably a good sleeping-on-the-floor kind of story to tell.

From their newsletter, which you can sign up for here:

Good day. If you’re new to this, welcome to the Tower of Stone. Our tower now stands high enough to oversee the western United States, which we will promptly visit to regale with our tales of heroes, travellers, and fools. If you live in or near any of the cities listed above, we hope to see you in the flesh, and we hope you bring your comrades to share the experience with.

Today I am writing for one purpose and one purpose alone: To tell you how important it is that we bring people to these shows. There is no such thing as an independent band that tours or sells records. We are dependent on you: Our friends and fans. Without you we would be an independent idea, hungry for people to share itself with. Let us burn with life and be content.

Old Man Wizard’s Summer Tour Dates:
7/18/2014 – San Diego, CA – Tower Bar
7/19/2014 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
7/20/2014 – Tempe, AZ – Rogue Bar
7/21/2014 – Anaheim, CA – Doll Hut
7/22/2014 – Oakland, CA – Eli’s
7/23/2014 – San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern
7/24/2014 – Eugene, OR – Tiny Tavern
7/25/2014 – Portland, OR – East End
7/26/2014 – Tacoma, WA – TBA
7/27/2014 – Seattle, WA – Highline
7/30/2014 – Boise, ID – The Bouquet
7/31/2014 – Salt Lake City, UT – Shred Shed
8/01/2014 – Las Vegas, NV – The Divebar
8/02/2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Loaded

https://www.facebook.com/events/701012619936904/
http://oldmanwizard.com/
https://twitter.com/OldManWizard
http://oldmanwizard.tumblr.com/

Old Man Wizard, Unfavorable (2013)

Tags: , , ,

Old Man Wizard, Unfavorable: A Soul for Sins

Posted in Reviews on November 12th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It’s telling that the lyrics to two of the seven tracks on Old Man Wizard‘s Unfavorable debut LP talk about telling stories. In both “If Only” and “The Bearded Fool,” there’s a drive toward narrative, and as the majority of the songs included on the California progressive trio’s self-released first outing are ultimately character studies — from “Highwayman,” to “Nightmare Rider,” “The Bearded Fool” and “Traveller’s Lament” — with guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Francis Charles Roberts assuming the various characters in first-person (“Nightmare Rider” is in third), Old Man Wizard seem like a band destined to write at some point in their tenure a full story arc concept album. They haven’t done that with Unfavorable, but they’re not far off, and Roberts, who doubles as Ruba Jouba in pirate metal outfit The Dread Crew of Oddwood, comes by his theatricality honestly. Fortunately for anyone who’d taken on listening to Unfavorable — and this isn’t always the case — Old Man Wizard have the accomplished songwriting and progressive theory behind what they’re doing to back up that theatrical sensibility. Both bassist Andre Beller and drummer Kris Calabio contribute vocals alongside Roberts, and Minni Jo Mazzola, who also adds flute to “Traveller’s Lament,” makes periodic singing appearances, so it is a vocal-heavy album, but it’s with the distinctive harmonies and creative arrangements that Unfavorable sets its mood and forms its cohesive layers of aesthetic. Front to back, the album winds up gorgeous, accomplished, varied and well beyond the common expectation of a fumbling debut from a band feeling their way into a songwriting methodology. Old Man Wizard — and Roberts as the principle architect of their output on this LP — seem to have a firm grasp on what they want the band to be and how they want to realize that vision. Drawing influences from traditional and progressive metal — clean vocal Opeth are a big influence in both the vocal style and overarching melancholy of a song like “If Only” — and playfully marrying them with garage and other heavy rocks, Old Man Wizard showcase marked potential and stylistic nuance that seems beyond their still-nascent tenure, having only come together in 2012.

Both the music and lyrics of “Highwayman” feed into a sense of motion, and Roberts immediately assumes charge of the album as its narrator. It’s an initial rush, a quick gallop to get lost in that finds a mirror later with the push of side B’s bass-heavy opener, “The Bearded Fool.” Also working in “Highwayman”‘s favor, however, is its hook, which comes paired with jumpy transitions and a smooth running verse, the backing vocals in the chorus foreshadowing a nod to Ennio Morricone that comes to the fore with cello from Beller and harmonica from Roberts at the culmination. Already, Old Man Wizard have proven their ability to cull cohesive results from unlikely combinations of influence, and Unfavorable only gets more complex as the acoustic folk of “If Only” pulls off an easy sway and more Opethian harmonies. Electric guitar is gradually layered into the background, giving a sense of build to the song, but the peaceful, wistful air is maintained throughout, even as “If Only” comes as close to threatening as it gets with a volume swell at the 4:30 mark. Rather than take off into a heavier thrust, Old Man Wizard serve the song better by staying patient, knowing that everything has a place in the course of the album, and drop back to the sweet vocal melody and psychedelic folk acoustic guitar. If there’s a single arrangement on Unfavorable that demonstrates the band’s prog mindset, it might be this one, but “If Only” still works best in the context of the release overall, leading into the shortest track, “Nightmare Rider” (3:23), on which lyrics arrive in jabs and the guitars and bass go headfirst into a grungier riffing that’s hammered out somewhat by the production but still the dirtiest-sounding thing they’ve played yet on the record. Of course, the atmosphere is maintained, and one gets a Danny Elfman-esque vibe filtered through proto-metallic crunch and classic thrash as the shouts at the start of each verse line calling to mind Metallica‘s “The Four Horsemen,” seemingly with intent.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , ,

audiObelisk Transmission 031

Posted in Podcasts on October 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

There was a point during the making of this podcast when I stepped back for a second realized, “This is getting really heavy.” It kind of happened out of the blue, but it definitely happened, and though the thought occurred to me to maybe pull it back and get into some more rocking stuff in the second hour again, I decided instead to just run with it and have fun and go as all-out ridiculously heavy as I could think of. That’s when we get to Beast in the Field‘s 22-minute “Oncoming Avalanche.” I know I’ve had them in before, but if you’re going all out in 2013 releases, that’s where you’re gonna end up.

Plus, I figured there’s plenty of rocking stuff up front, starting with At Devil Dirt and the subsequent riff pushers in the first hour, and the whole thing rounds out with the psych-hypnosis of The Cosmic Dead, so though it’s far out by the conclusion, it does manage to come back from the ultra-weighted tones somewhat. Screw it. I was having a good time stringing together heavy songs. The bottom line of this whole thing is for it to be fun, and I was having fun, so there you go.

I hope you have fun with it too. Once again, we come in just under two hours with a slew of newer cuts and some stuff from earlier this year that maybe got missed along the way. Considering there’s so much pummel, it flows pretty well.

First Hour:
At Devil Dirt, “Don’t See You Around” from Plan B: Sin Revolucion No Hay Evolucion (2013)
Pigs, “Elo Kiddies” from Gaffe (2013)
Mutoid Man, “Scavengers” from Helium Head (2013)
Viper Fever, “Summer Time” from Super Heavy Garage EP (2013)
Sons of Huns, “I’m Your Dad” from Banishment Ritual (2013)
Blackout, “Seven” from We Are Here (2013)
Horisont, “Backstreet” from Time Warriors (2013)
Old Man Wizard, “If Only” from Unfavorable (2013)
Mother Susurrus, “Anagnorisis” from Maahaavaa (2013)
Coma Wall, “You are My Death” from Wood and Wire Split (2013)
Mollusk, “Hollowed” from Colony of Machines (2013)
Sea of Bones, “Failure of Light” from The Earth Wants us Dead (2013)

Second Hour:
Corrections House, “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill” from Last City Zero (2013)
Rosetta, “Myo/The Miraculous” from The Anasthete (2013)
Beast in the Field, “Oncoming Avalanche” from The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below (2013)
The Cosmic Dead, “Djamba” from The Cosmic Dead/Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Split (2013)

Total running time: 1:59:29

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 031

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,