ShwizZ- My Good Side/My Bad Side
Review by Marc Jaffee 08/2015
The New York band, Shwizz is making bold decisions. Not only a concept album of the highest degree with their new release, My Good Side/My Bad Side, but a double album of seventeen songs at that. Prog rock thrives here, on par with classic Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, King Crimson, and Dream Theater (whose Jordan Rudess even makes an appearance to join the mighty shredding.) But it’s not just the playing chops that make this such a special independent release from an emerging band, the composition skills are also clear.
The first section, My Good Side begins with an a cappella introduction, Outside, about contentment, dreams and clarity, which moves easily into a beautiful orchestral piece, Summon the Fawn. That segues into the thoughtful guitar intro to Number Twelve, which brings in the band for the first time, and they don’t let go, weaving through six more elaborate compositions, each evolving throughout with exciting grooves, and exceptional instrumental melodies, staying true to the original concept presented at the intro.
The second section, My Bad Side, begins with the same a cappella melody as the start of the album, except now the words have been flipped, and ideas of discontent, boredom, and paranoia take over. Once again we move into guitar based grooves, but now noticeably angrier. The sad, hopeless ballad, Annie, Pt 1, is a highlight, and probably the best vocal effort, defining the album concept further. There are also short gems throughout, such as the solo guitar composition, Pixilated Junk.
Shwizz can flat out play their instruments, and the growth between their first album and this adventure shows that they are a band to be reckoned with. They are obviously pursuing something more serious than just to be another band on the northeast scene. This effort firmly proves that they can achieve that and much more.
w/ The Heavy Pets
The Stone Church
w/ The Jauntee
Hulavom Music Festival