Release Date: October 26th, 2016
The latest by Wizaard is a buffet alright but it is more of the dessert kind — a veritable cornucopia of sugary delights. These are not empty calories, however, as there is nutritional substance. And there’s a freaky wild streak.
‘Starfish Buffet’ features that signature Montreal throwback funky sound, but instead of infusing it into hip-hop (see Kaytranada, e.g.) Wizaard go back more to the source and blend it with ‘70s pop. Far from sounding like nostalgia, tracks like “Sunlight/Moonlight” with its lovely harmonies and “Closer to the Sun” with its wah-wah guitar are fresh, lively and original. In what would seem like an approach with limited scope, the group actually crank out sounds of limitless variety. They venture into hard rock/prog territory on “Mountain of the Underground”, proto-glam on “You Don’t Have To Leave To Be Free!?” and surf/dreampop on “Strawberry Blue”. Of course, there is always Wizaard’s psychedelic bent to keep things off-kilter, and when they really get their weird on, such as on the spoken word oddity “This Is Broyle Kings”, then throw all notions of normality to the wind.
‘Starfish Buffet’ is such a sweet confection that it should end up giving you a toothache, and yet it doesn’t. Everything is so well constructed and produced, and more importantly there is such a high degree of creativity, that you end up with a well-filled belly rather than a trip to the dentist.