My first acquaintance with the Kinky Wizzards was their second full album Quirky Musings (2017, see review). Founding members, Jonathan 'Jiffy' Griffiths, who also is Magenta's drummer and his brother, bass player Mathew 'Mify' Griffiths had enlisted Eden Shadow's Ryan 'Riffy' Elliott for their second album as their new guitarist. A wonderful instrumental guitar driven album was the result of this co-operation. Now three years later, the trio return with a brand new album The Effervescent Travellers.
The album starts with a fine strong track called High Rise. A fine demonstration of two elements I think are essential for a great composition; technical skills and more importantantly the overall feel of the song. Kinky Wizzards are a band that are technically highly skilled musicians, but they are more interested to create songs, which have more depth, creating a nice atmosphere. With the impressive opener, both skill and feel are in perfect harmony. Continuing with Extreme Push Cycle Race, the band not only have created a fine catchy melody, but also have given the track a nostalgic feel. The second part of this one is just amazing, a majestic guitar solo, and on top of that a bass solo supported by a brass section. This is the first of four tracks on the album that sees brass joining the trio. As a trio, Kinky Wizzards return with one of the best compositions on the album, Sur La Dordogne. A song that's not about speed or showing off, this is plane good fun for three friends making music together. The atmosphere is what it's all about during this track, which sometimes reminds me of bands like HLMP or Fraud Prophets. Is it rock or perhaps cinematic music, that could be used for a sixties or seventies TV show? I really don't care, The Almighty Faff is a wonderful composition, which has some ska influences as well as more heavy Dream Theater related elements and a beautiful Pink Panther kind of part delicately combined into five minutes of brilliance. With Mont Blanc parts of Steve Morse's The Dixie Dregs come to mind, tastefully played, tight and melodic, with wonderful guitar soloing. Since I am comparing now, the intro of Fred's Motorhome Extravaganza has a nice Rush reference, but definitely is something completely different, a dominating bass, delicately done brass and supporting drums and guitar make this a very special track. Where Kinky Joe took us to Mexico on the previous album, this time, New Orleans must be the place where Kinky Joe can be found nowadays. Kinky Joe's Steamboat Trip Down The River Taff is a short mellow composition with a piano solo a twangy guitar and cheesy as hell. I just love it!
Kinky Wizzards have released another great album, which is mostly supporting the feel and emotion in music, besides that, fun and technical skills do help to create such a nice album. Job well done!
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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