Local Wizards’ Kendall Humbert Concocts Electronic Alchemy

Ok, so before I even start this review, go here immediately and start listening. What you’ll hear is the title track off Local Wizards’ latest album, The Signal. It’s hypnotic bass, steadfast rhythm, and subdued lyrics sum up (as any great title-track should) the impact this Signal puts out.

Don’t let, “The Signal” fool you though. If you start the album back up from the beginning, you’ll hear Kendall Humbert’s milder side with “Sticks & Leaves,” a beautiful introduction to this eclectic album. As it fades away, “Thomas Kinkade” abruptly chimes in with it’s piercing synth. Wicked. The music video for this song is quite amusing as well and can be viewed here. It seems Humbert’s talents aren’t limited to music as he is studying film at ASU.

“Canopy” and “Burnt Woods” progress The Signal into further sonic territory, each completely different in their approach. “Canopy,” open and dreamy, lingers in afterthought as “Burnt Woods” utilizes ping-pong guitar before the hardcore-distorted bass and snare drum’s kick in. This album was surely meant to nod your head to. I can see it getting some major plays on road trips.

At the half-way point we hear “Animal,” one of my favorite songs on the album. If we had been allowed to continue on the boat ride in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” this is what it would sound like. After the aforementioned title track, “Wernicke’s Aphasia” begins the process of winding down the album. The ending proves to be the most powerful part of the album, however, showing listeners that The Signal hasn’t quite yet reached its maximum output.

“What Have We Done” followed by “Books & Flashlights” fill the listener with a sense of fulfillment and peace. Life of The Signal is over but my appreciation for the album is only beginning.

I was disappointed to learn that Local Wizards has no plans to take his music live at any time in the foreseeable future (or ever for that matter). Perhaps if we all ask together, very nicely…

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