By ROB DUGUAY If you went up to a casual music fan and asked them what wizard rock is, chances are they would look at you like you have three heads. It's a unique name for a style of music that's inspired by the Harry Potter fantasy novel franchise - a
If you went up to a casual music fan and asked them what wizard rock is, chances are they would look at you like you have three heads.
It’s a unique name for a style of music that’s inspired by the Harry Potter fantasy novel franchise – a style that was born right in our home region of New England.
One of the bands who abide by this genre is The Whomping Willows, who are led by vocalist and guitarist Matt Maggiacomo with bassist and guitarist J. Ferguson, guitarist Brian Ross and drummer Brad Mehlenbacher rounding out the rest of the lineup.
Back on May 18, the quartet released a new album titled “Revisionist History” via Maggiacomo’s label Pitch & Prose, which is based in Cranston.
In order to finance the making of the album, the band established an IndieGoGo campaign last year that ended up raising over $8,000. The Whomping Willows made “Revisionist History” as both a reaction to the current political and social climate and a chance to rework several old songs from their catalog.
“The world is reeling from a seemingly endless series of catastrophes – a global pandemic, a rise in far-right fascist ideologies, police brutality, state-sanctioned violence and environmental disasters related to the climate crisis,” the band states on their IndieGoGo page. “This project won’t solve any of those problems, but it might provide you with a sense of comfort and solidarity as you navigate a sense of comfort and solidarity as you navigate the chaos. The Whomping Willows have always used their platform to lift up social justice movements. While the band remains retired from touring, this feels like the right time for the band to weigh in and contribute to the rising tide of resistance.”
Musically the album is rooted in a mix of power-pop, alternative rock and some surf tones. Tracks like “I Pity The Death Dealers,” “Wolfstar” and “A Brief Repose” have an abundance of harmonic energy. There’s also “Don’t Let Me Explode” and “I Found A Loophole” being a bit more somber while showcasing Maggiacomo’s songwriting chops. Overall, the band embraces catchiness, melody and emphasis with the guitars adding a definitive edge. There’s also a cohesiveness within the album that makes everything shine.
To stream and purchase “Revisionist History,” log on to Pitch & Prose’s Bandcamp page at pitchandprose.bandcamp.com. If you’re looking for a physical vinyl or CD edition of the album, log on to pitchandprose.com and check out the label’s store. Buy a poster, a T-shirt and a mug while you’re at it.
While listening to the album, you’ll finally be able to immerse yourself in an interesting type of music that isn’t as complex as it sounds. At the same time, you’ll definitely enjoy getting the lyrics stuck in your head.