Bad Wizard Free and Easy

Allow me to say a few words on the beard revolution in rock music today. With such diverse artists as Jon Spencer, Ian Blurton and Zakk Wylde all sporting long, "mountain man" whiskers, it's become the ultimate anti-youth, anti-pop fashion statement. This movement includes the furry and freaky brothers of the Bad Wizard, who got the facial follicle thing going on in a serious way. The tunes, you ask? Well, this is one of the most true to form boogie rock albums anyone has put out in a while. Songs like "Lay Your Love On Me," with its Stooges-y piano flourishes, are going make you want to throw on your "boot cuts" and get down. Make no mistake about it, these New Yorkers inject a heavy dose of punk intensity into their grooves, as the anthemic "Natural High" shows. The only drawback here is the "doubling" effect used on the vocals, which gets a little over-processed sounding at times, and garbles the lyrics. The shaggy boogie troops are on the march and I don't think they can be stopped, even if you wanted to. (Tee Pee)