Wizards Of Time – Will The Soft Curse Plague On? Record Label: Hidden Shoal
Release Date: July 26, 2012
Art-pop sounds like an oxymoron; aren’t overproduced, overhyped LMFAO songs the antithesis of art? How do you bridge accessibility and creativity? Wizards Of Time, an up-and-coming band from Arizona, take a stab at answering that equation with Will The Soft Curse Plague On?, their debut release. They succeed admirably here, taking a melting pot of ideas and influences and crafting catchy, insightful tunes.
One of the things keeping the enterprise grounded is the rasp of lead vocalist Andrew Hiller’s tone: it’s honest and human, even when the band around him is headed towards outer space. Just about every word of his is infused with passion and emotion, and it’s quite likely that on first listen, listeners may rely on him to guide them through the album’s twistier passages.
Though never predictable, the album is always appealing and inviting; its sense of openness intrigues. Who says heavy, dramatic rock can’t occupy the same space as sparkling, radiant pop? The diversity of the instrumental palette here is something to behold; fruity piano, twinkling keys, solemn guitar, and pounding drums do most of the talking, but synths, harps, and heavenly production bolster the voice. Tracks like “Chief Of Sinners” and “Ode To Bravo” display the intricacy of the band’s concoctions perfectly, swinging between folksy acoustic sections and oddball progressive rock. Other cuts, like the sunny “Worldwide Holiday” or the aching “Benjamin”, may swing more to one side than the other, but they are just as packed with melodies and rhythmic swirls, woven together in a tapestry of sound.
At times, the whole begins to bleed together in a glorious haze of light and dark shades, and it’s so consistent that it’s difficult to begin to penetrate its surface. However, that unity only speaks to just how cohesive the Wizards’ sense of purpose is; this release suggests that they can achieve anything they set their eyes on, so long as they bring along a lust for adventure, a hearty helping of bombast, and a colony of instruments, playing above and under and against each other, creating new life in spaces where none previously existed.