Gang Wizard – Important Picnic

The elusive lo-fi noise-rock outfit known as Gang Wizard have been around long enough to have become a household name, a name you have heard of even if you haven’t heard the music, like other long-career bands Yo La Tengo or Sonic Youth. But despite the time and endurance of the band, Gang Wizard has remained specifically a cult favorite in the smaller corners of obscurity. This is not due to misfortune as much as it is due to choice.

The band’s lineup has been a revolving cast of members over the last 25 years, and the band as a whole frequently shifts from active to inactive. Their last return from silence was in 2012, after 4 years of being inactive, with a vinyl-only release limited to 5 copies via Deathbomb Arc Records.

But despite their insistence to remain underground and to preserve their damaged goods brand of awesomely sloppy nosie-punk, their music always delivers a satisfying aesthetic, embedded in all the too-cool stuff, which makes the band pretty much perfect in their own right. And Important Picnic is no exception, however it may be their finest work. The album blasts composed songs that tumble and roar with the free-form nature of improvisation, making every great moment appear as if it were a happy accident that you had the pleasure of capturing. It sounds like what the title “indie rock” should be describing, and not the polished plastic of non-corporate-but-kind-of-corporate schlock you’ve been getting lately.

All hail Gang Wizard.

-E. Adam

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