“A juggernaut of power blues stoner rock, milked from the beard of Zeus!” It’s definitely one of the most intriguing descriptions I’ve come across and with a name like ‘Ten Foot Wizard’ I wouldn’t expect anything less. The little information we are given about this Manchester four piece certainly helps to build a mystique, the bands biography for example simply reads “grooving on a more cosmic perspective with an ecclesiastical guerrilla” whatever that means but I guess, with their debut album ‘Return to the Infinite’ lined up and my big can headphones locked and loaded, I’m about to find out.
Despite the primary stoner rock leanings there’s also a definite 70’s groove rock vibe to ‘Rise From Your Grave’ that is bordering on territory first explored by the likes of Foghat and the Edgar Winter Group. This groove continues throughout the album but it’s never more present than here on this track.
With an awesome Datsuns-esq riff, Clutch-like verse and doom metal breakdown, ‘Vulture Bitches’ is a schizophrenic song of three musical movements each with their own pace, thrown into a wizard’s cauldron and served up in irreverent disregard for the listener. It makes you work hard to keep up, unless of course you’re on the same medication as the guys from Ten Foot Wizard.
‘Real Love’ continues with a stoner rock vibe but with a slight Queens of the Stone Age style chorus. With ‘Medicine’, ‘Six Feet Rising’ and ‘Fuck!’ it’s like you’re staring down the barrell of a blues rock shotgun and getting a blowback from a Camberwell Carrot, big fat juicy riffs, smooth progressions and bouts of listless meandering. All three are perfect blues-tinged stoner rock tracks that cannot be faulted.
‘Saturnalia’, ‘The Storm’ and ‘End of the Line’ up the tempo a little into a typical Orange Goblin boogie. The later starting with a tasty, slow blues lick that sets up the more progressive main body of the song rather well. All three tracks have their moments where the song goes a little ‘stonehenged’ as a languid middle 8 takes hold, allowing you to kick back and get ready before it’s time for another hit from the bong.
The title track and finale ‘Return to the Infinite’ is more of an instrument-laden outro than a stand-alone song. Observed as a whole with the rest of the album it fits nicely but is no stand-alone tune.
This debut album maintains a strong blues/stoner rock influence that manifests as a kinship with the likes of Clutch and the lighter side of Orange Goblin and Electric Wizard but that’s all kept check in with hints of Budgie and Montrose, enabling Ten Foot Wizard to sound unique. Simply put, ‘Return to the Infinite’ is an awesome album
Return to the Infinite
01 Rise From Your Grave
02 Vulture Bitches
03 Real Love
05 Six Feet Rising
08 The Storm
09 End of the Line
10 Return to the Infinite
Ten Foot Wizard are:
Adam – Guitar
Gary – Guitar/Vocals
Jonny – Drums
Seddy – Bass