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Electric Wizard : Legalise Drugs & Murder

'Something is rotten in the state of Dorset’; that's what you think when listening to the new Electric Wizard's EP.

As a famous prince would say: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Dorset’. 2010 'Black Masses' produced some different reactions among the fans: the change in sound (with more than a nod to the Californian hippie psychedelic Rock scene from the '60s), the quick pace in many songs, a bit of experimentation along the line and the usual semi-unknown B-movies references (a rare copy of the French movie 'Exorcismes Et Messes Noires' by cult Spanish director Jess Franco was shown behind the band during their last tour gigs) was quite a shock for many listeners expecting a second 'Witchcult Today'. Readers of my review on this very website 2 years ago know that I was back then, and still am, a staunch defender of 'Black Masses'. But this time, it seems that Jus Osborn simply pushed the experimental thing a bit too far.

Simply put, the side A track is bad beyond anything expected. Cheesy title put apart (it seems that mister Osborn has spent too much time watching old VHS), the song in itself sounds just like an old improvised rehearsal of 'Saturn's Children' or 'The Chosen One' (in fact, they use exactly the same instrumental and vocal patterns than in 'Saturn's Children', to the point that I thought it was indeed a demo version and not a brand new song). It goes nowhere and everywhere at the same time, it is still ultra-heavy (at least, that can't be counted against the band) and psychedelic, but it adds nothing to what the band has already shown on previous albums. Not mentioning that the main melody is so easy to remember that it borders on pure Pop music sometimes. To make things worse, the production is just terrible. Having a ‘dirty’ sound is one thing, having it on purpose another one. But it's a huge leap from there to the idea that this horrible sonic magma, which makes it difficult to actually hear anything but the solos and Osborn's voice, was ever a voluntary choice... to me, up till now, only young or cash-strapped bands had to deal with such an awful production.

The B-side is a semi-instrumental that draws on the same inspiration as side A and mainly it sounds like a improvised rehearsal track. For some unknown reasons, it has a damn better sound than the A-side, which suits better this psychedelic luciferian sonic trip with samples and whispers. This is still not Electric Wizard at its best, but it manages to grasp some of the old spark that the band was able to ignite some years ago and it could have been featured on 'Let Us Prey' without a doubt. Yet, it's still a filler, albeit a good one.

This single is supposed to be an appetizer for an upcoming new album, and right now it clearly fails to give you high hopes. If the album is going to be all along the lines of 'Legalize Drugs & Murder', the least you can say is that it's going to end in a massive wall of disappointement. Right now, I can't help asking myself: what are they thinking, those stupid sods who are buying this EP at $50+ on Ebay ?

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Legalize Drugs & Murder
2. Murder & Madness

Duration : Approx. 11 minutes

Visit the Electric Wizard bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-18 by Laurent Lignon
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