[SCRAP METAL] Sam Ford and Max Dameron, better known to Northwest metalheads as Wizard Rifle, create more noise than two human beings have any conceivable right to make. Composed of merely guitar, drums and shared vocals, Wizard Rifle valiantly overcompensates for its spare membership by mainlining pure, uncut enthusiasm. News of a Wizard Rifle full-length is surprising, in part because it means the two sat in one place long enough to actually make a record.
Speak Loud Say Nothing, the duo’s debut album, handily crystallizes Wizard Rifle’s abilities to shred with the best of them and blindly follow the dictates of its own sonic fetishes. There’s a heavy debt to Converge in Wizard Rifle’s scrappy micro-epics (as well as some love given to downtempo demigods such as Danava), but Wizard Rifle shines brightest when managing to plainly out-crazy its contemporaries.
Of Speak Loud Say Nothing’s five tracks, three blow past the seven-minute mark without even noticing. While there are atonal breakdowns aplenty, it’s when “Frazetta” breaks into an acid freak-out reminiscent of Yes, or when “Megatherium” trips into a zombie-fied shuffle, that you to scratch your head wondering what went into Ford and Dameron’s melting pot.
“Leathery Gentleman,” the album’s expansive closing track, manages to maintain Wizard Rifle’s derailed pacing over the course of 10 minutes, a feat of athleticism if nothing else. What’s more, the duo sounds like its having fun for the entirety of the album this time. Wizard Rifle knows that metal bands are supposed to be dolorous and self-serious; its novelty is that it just doesn’t care.