High Speed GTO
posted on 6/2009 By:
There was a period back in March where I hated my job and was extremely bored of my life. The only thing that would cheer me between a pointless slug at the office and an empty house in the suburbs was listening to a track called “High Speed GTO” by some newbie metal band from L.A. called White Wizzard, featured on a CD sampler from Metal Hammer magazine. I’d get the track in about five times before I got home and for those twenty minutes I was never happier. I’d make sure adjacent cars at traffic lights would see me air-drumming and singing like I wanted rid of my arms and vocal chords forever. I’d point at on-coming cars at the appropriate moments too; always aware of the fact I was actually driving a rusty piece of shit, but that didn’t matter.
Then I saw the promo video for the song and was just about decapitated by my own grin. It was identical to how my friend and myself always mused Jorne Lande’s “Sunset Station” video should be like; shameless rocking out, coordinated guitar posery, constant camera acknowledgment, cheesier than a carbonara throw-up, so crap it’s awesome.
It’s not a new song however. In fact this mini-album is a collection of the band’s year or two old material recorded with a previous singer, but when I heard about it, I was so excited I started taking the long way home; secretly fearing my obsession for this one song would ruin it all.
Enough stories though.
White Wizzard look 80’s and much of their sound is generated from that NWOBHM influence, sharing the traditional metal revival sound of Earache label buddies Cauldron, but covering a happier, smilier spectrum of joyous riffing and party solos. Jon Leon’s bass lines have a strong presence and groove, steering tracks like “March of the Skeletons” and the title track, whilst Jesse Appelhans’ drums remain straight to the point, heavily accentuating the grooves and hooks.
There are actually some fairly interesting and unexpected sounds showing through on High Speed GTO - intentional or not. Moments of alternative rock sounds resembling Lostprophets and Billy Talent are a unique twist on the Maiden styled guitar gallops and melodies, as is the almost up-tuned early-nu-metal chorus of “Into the Night”. “Megalodon” is another quirky little track, presenting a thrashed up Faith No More; with a Patton nasality to match.
Basically, there is a lot more to White Wizzard than their vintage attire and fun-orgasming title track. High Speed GTO is a solid foundation to a promising venture into metal being an expression of good times and purity. But seriously… that video.
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