Review: The Sorcerers ‘Self-Titled’

If you enjoy having your brain stimulated by new and bizarre noises that are unique to almost anything you have ever heard, than The Sorcerers just might be the band for you. They are making a buzz all the way from Leeds, and have finally come out with their long awaited and well received, debut self-titled album

The Sorcerers consisting of Pete Williams, Neil Innes, Joost Hendrickx, Johnny Richards, and Richard Ormrod, have come out with an album that can accompany any great cheesy 60’s horror film. While they might conduct a bad film, the music itself is quite eclectic and fascinating. I found myself transported to a different era, being welcomed with spooky bass guitars and frolicking jazz sounds. They derive much of their sound from Ethio jazz, which uses different traditional African instruments and varies with sound in each Ethiopian ethnic group. The Sorcerers did not start out as something very serious and after being showered with love and fans when they put out their first 7” single, they quickly began working on their first album, The Sorcerers.

The band takes a lot of their influence from the man who created Ethio jazz, Mulatu Astatke. They like many good bands/musicians use the classical version of a genre and build on top of it to make it unique to themselves. In the case of The Sorcerers they are sending chills down peoples spines with their jazz skills and kooky horror sounds. The opening track, “Pinch of The Death Nerve” Starts with a deep and ominous piano and slowly, layer by layer introduces drums, bass, and various other instruments. It’s a slow and suspenseful song, much like any good horror film.

“The Horror” starts off sounding like an incredibly tacky song from a horror movie about a circus murder. The tune however integrates very melodic brass instruments with different clicks and clanks. The sudden pause in the middle makes you hold your breath momentarily until once again you are relieved when the music starts up again. Towards the last bit of the song it starts to get a little more freestyle type of jazz and the musicians are going back to show us their classic roots. “The Viking of 5th Avenue” is a slow and bewitching song, that takes your imagination to a foggy lagoon with a cabin way out of anyone’s sit. Inside is a mysterious green-eyed gypsy women who will not only tell your fortune, but cast a spell on you if necessary. The brass instruments are being so delicately played that it feels like they are the ones who are casting you under their smooth and vivacious spell.

“Cave of Brahma” is upbeat and much more a song that a seductress could dance to while captivating her prey with slow and patient instrumentals. The Sorcerers even manage to make a xylophone sound sexy as hell and coalesce with their strong jazz sounds and minimal freak-outs. “Who Put Bella In Wych Elm” is an incredible number, not just because my name is in the title…but because every instrument stands out so clearly to me with this tune, and they give each of them a chance to shine on their own. The bass is strong and not afraid to make some noise, while the tuba is transcending into a another world of its own, and the guitar is quietly being picked until the very end where they all meet and combine their various spastic sounds to make a mind twisting ending to a great jazz song.

The Sorcerers are a musical group that have immense talent and creativity that should be shared with the entire world. They are thinking outside the box and creating and combining genres of music that no one would really think of doing on their own. They are truly not like any band I have ever heard and I was in absolute shock and amazement when I first turned them on. It’s always refreshing to hear musicians still trying to do something different instead of trying to profit off of something that has already been done. So, go support some up and coming artists and shell out just ten dollars and support these creative minds, and help them keep creating!


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