Speak Loud Say Nothing (Seventh Rule)
By Mike Delano
Portland, OR’s Wizard Rifle are proudly, defiantly weird on their debut Speak Loud Say Nothing. Jerking the listener around in a million different musical directions is usually a recipe for disaster when attempted by novices, but even as a young band, these two dudes have the confidence to pull it off. Drummer Sam Ford and guitarist Max Dameron have music itching to come out of them, and it’s bursting out in any which way it can. “Frazetta” has a Faith No More-style funk stomp to it, while “Megatherium” starts pretty before segueing into droning chants and a herky-jerky finale. The duo favors big, crushing riffs, for the most part, evidenced best on “Nobody,” but trying to find constants among this craziness is a losing battle. A prize must be waiting to be claimed somewhere for anyone who can make sense of the twisted, hyperactive storytelling (and occasional blast beats) of the 11-minute “Leathery Gentlemen.” It’s not a frustrating listen, though, since Wizard Rifle can freak out with the best of them, and by the end of these five songs, it’s clear that they’ve said something, although what that is is anyone’s guess.