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Early Man, Bad Wizard Preview

| July 26, 2006

Early Man, Bad Wizard
Subterranean, Chicago
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Early Man nearly weren’t going to be part of this package for the Chicago stop. A complete van breakdown left them stranded in Texas for three days and the rest of their tour in question. But, thanks to a gun-toting, beer-guzzling local (not enough room here, but read the whole story on the group’s Web site) Early Man will be opening for power metal outfit Three Inches Of Blood Tuesday night, and we’re all better people because of it.

Why? Because Early Man are the shit, man! Lazy asses lump the New York-by-way-of-Ohio duo (guitarist vocalist Mike Conte and drummer Bennati – lineup expands to a four-piece for live shows) in with the Sabbath-revival movement, and maybe that’s because Conte can sound an awfully like Ozzy Osbourne at times or maybe it’s because writers can’t figure out any other way to describe a new metal band than “Sabbath-inspired riffs.” But as far as direct influences, you’ll hear a lot more of New Wave Of British Heavy metal bands like Priest and Diamond Head or N.W.O.B.H.M-inspired thrash such as Metallica and Overkill than sludgers like Sabbath or immediate descendants St. Vitus and Trouble. The proof is in the group’s full-length debut, Closing In (Matador), which graced the lists of countless hard rock top-10 countdowns.

The night’s other opener Bad Wizard have some explainin’ to do, though. In 2004 they released #1 Tonite, an album that didn’t reinvent the wheel but was a delightfully slimy piece of unapologetic hard rock. But the band’s 2006 effort, Sky High (Howler) fell flat. Suddenly, Bad Wizard sounded like just another faceless stoner rock band hoping to jump on the next Fu Manchu tour. A little birdie tells us, though, they slay live.

— Trevor Fisher

Click here to download Early Man’s “Evil Is.”

Click here to download Bad Wizard’s “The Rat.”

Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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