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White Wizzard: High Speed GTO

Album Notes

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.) ~ Phil Freeman


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