Wizards of Time’s debut album is full of catchy, psychedelic-tinged rock that avoids the pitfalls of many bands that use the word “psychedelic” as an identifier. There’s no long-winded jamming here, and no woozy atmospheric pieces that stretch on forever. Those bits are mostly confined to interstitials the band calls “Plague 1”, “Plague 2”, etc., that serve as short 30-second transitions between the more substantial songs. Wizards frontman Andrew Hiller has a wobbly tenor voice that can’t help but remind listeners of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, especially with the very Lips-like music going on behind him.
Still, the band knows its way around a hook, and their willingness to experiment with sounds mostly pays off. While the songs tend to be driven by guitars, either fuzzed-out electrics or more easygoing acoustics, the band finds room for piano, organ and all sorts of interesting percussion ideas. In fact, the band rarely uses traditional drum kit beats in their songs, giving the whole album a bit of a left-of-center feel. Will the Soft Curse Plague On? is an interesting take on psychedelic pop, and its welcome brevity ensures that listeners who aren’t using chemical enhancements won’t get bored with the album.