After drooling all over the Loser Surf Death EP last year, it was no challenge to get excited about new stuff from Saskatoon’s wonderful Wizards. Their side of this split, “Karma,” opens with some taiko thumping that sets the pace for a six-minute trek through sludgy stoner guitar goodness. It is a bit more vocal-forward than most of LSD, and the poppy surf guitar tones are not evident on this track—though it would be silly to proclaim some big change in their style from one song. However, it is worth saying the band already sounds more confident than last year, and this track just serves as further evidence that Wizards deserve all the love they will get from the bustling Canadian psych crowd.
The Faps are an upbeat guitar/drum duo who also have a prior EP (ded lake) to their name. “IWSBTAR” alternates between swinging beats and cutesy little riffs, while seeming to tell the story of a party night gone long but not necessarily wrong. The interplay between the instruments is a bit too simplistic to warrant continuous plays, but “Trophy Wives” is much more fun. The bridges are short, sudden, and a welcome flourish that heighten interest in what could have been left a short little corndog song. If The Faps’ band name is not enough of a hint at their sense of humour, just listen to the closing lines of “Trophy Wives” for a more blunt explanation. The release is so far available only on cassette, but a 7” version is expected soon. (Sound and Silence Collective, wizardmusic.bandcamp.com) Daniel Emberg