Music has the magical power to transport us through time and space and allows us to relive and remember specific moments and feelings in our lives.
One of the things I miss most about life before the pandemic is being able to walk a few blocks away from my front door, into Isla Vista, to see the local and touring bands.
Being packed shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of sweaty college kids in a stranger’s garage is a nightmarish situation these days.
Back in early February, this experience was worth it to get to see Pancho and The Wizards play songs from their 2019 album “Cemetery.”
Pancho and The Wizards are based in San Luis Obispo; I got to see them play in Isla Vista twice.
The music is good on it’s own but the memory of being in a room full of dancing people is what makes this album so special to me.
Not all bands’ studio releases are able to live up to my dizzying memories of seeing them live, but The Wizards sound just as good on Spotify as they did the couple times I was standing close enough to be spit on as they played in front of me.
It’s a somewhat meditative experience for a garage-rock album.
Each song on the album blends into the next making the listener effortlessly sink into the music.
Something about lead singer Tristan Wildey’s voice has a comforting Kurt Cobian mixed with Gerard Way vibe.
The highlight of the album is the song “Rot.”
I can’t resist standing up in the middle of an imaginary mosh pit and swing my arms around while violently shaking my head every time this song comes on.
It transports me back to those moments in those garages when I would stomp my feet into the ground as hard as I could while trying to dodge the rowdy moshers behind me.
That’s the joy of local music.
Nirvana and My Chemical Romance can’t make me feel that special something the same way this album does.
There are no bad songs on it.
I turn the volume all the way up for “Cemetery” and have a miniature dance party alone in my room. I’m back in those dingy Isla Vista garages, moshing shoulder to shoulder in a crowd of sweaty college kids, rocking out once again to Pancho and The Wizards.