If you are a fan of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Rush, Dokken and other bands of that nature that ruled the 80's, then Los Angeles' White Wizzard is a group you need to check out. These guys have been on my radar for a while since my buddy Buckshot is working with them (Buckshot is also the bassist for a kick ass band of his own called Moth Eater and the author of Mosh Potatoes, a cookbook coming out in October 2010 that will no doubt be the most metal cookbook of all time) and when he first told me about them I incorrectly assumed they were just another faceless, forgettable band in the wave of retro metal bands that seem to be popping up all over the place right now, but these guys actually make it work. There is a fine line between paying homage to your musical idols and completely ripping them off. The former works because the music is fun and exciting and the latter does not because it just comes across as a retread and boring. White Wizzard falls squarely in the 'paying homage' category. The riffs and the vocals are killer and in watching the videos you get the impression that the band is in on the joke and not taking themselves too seriously, but certainly not mocking the music they are paying tribute to or the scene it emerged from. But don't take my word for it (although you should) and check out the videos below for yourself.
"Over The Top" technically won't be released in the U.S. until March 9th, but if you are dying to have it now, then you can get it on iTunes.
Also, Jon Leon (who is listed as bassist and guitarist on the band's Myspace page) is currently the only original member left from White Wizzard's original incarnation as he fired everyone else in the band in 2008 over the ever popular "artistic differences". Those original members went on to form a new band called Holy Grail which plays a similar retro style to White Wizzard. They will be releasing their debut album Crisis In Utopia on Prosthetic Records this year. I've heard a couple songs and I dig them as well.
"Over The Top"
"High Speed GTO"