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High Speed GTO

White Wizzard

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Album Review

After the "retro-thrash" movement secured a place for itself in the history of 21st century metal, the natural next step was for another similar young-folks-digging-up-the-past subgenre to emerge, and it did. There's a mini-wave (much smaller than the wave of retro-thrash bands, it must be said) of groups blatantly copping the sound of the early-'80s New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and White Wizzard are one of the first out of the gate and into record stores. The seven songs on this brief EP are all in the three- to four-minute range, with no elaborate displays of instrumental technique, no attempts at brutaler-than-thou lyrical aggression, no thoughts beyond getting the listener to pump his or her fist and sing along with the catchy choruses. The riffs are built as much around throbbing Iron Maiden-style basslines as guitar arpeggios, and the vocals are upper-register, clearly enunciated and foregrounded in the mix. If you like Iron Maiden's Killers, you will like White Wizzard. (This incarnation, anyway; most of the musicians — and even the vocalist — present on this recording left the band shortly thereafter to form the group Holy Grail. An almost entirely new White Wizzard is still signed to Earache.)


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

White Wizzard were formed in 2007 by vocalist James Paul Luna, guitarist James LaRue, bassist Jon Leon, and drummer Tyler Meahl, and, amid the surrounding din of retro-fitted thrash and glam rock bands crowding around them, chose to tackle the New Wave of British Heavy Metal on their eponymous seven-song EP the following year. Boasting cover art designed by Iron Maiden artist Derek Riggs, the EP drew the attention of Earache Records, which included the track "High Speed GTO" in their Heavy Metal...
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High Speed GTO, White Wizzard
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