Imaad Wasif - DZI

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2017-06-11

Damn, what a great year for music.  It seems like every week a new album is released best of genre in the alternative music universe! 

Which brings me to my current best album of 2017, Imaad Wasif’s DZI.  This guy has been around for a while and is probably best known for touring with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s some years ago but don’t hold that against him.  Wasif’s previous albums have been rather acoustic and perhaps a bit odd in delivery mixing folk and electronic, but compelling stuff regardless but with DZI?

With DZI Wasif starts with a short low-key acoustic ditty but that’s where that style ends.  This is heavy psych, grunge, occasionally-slick and dreamy guitar-driven rock and roll at its finest.  Wasif is a true axeman and all tracks that follow the ‘Way Inside’ short intro showcase his prowess with the frets.  And he’s got the perfect voice for his songs as well.  He’ll sound like Moon Duo one song (‘Beautician’) and then border on Nirvana the next (‘Turn Away’) with all sorts of electro-metal twists and turns in between.

The threads that separate him from many psych bands is just the sheer quality of construction.  He utilizes electronics beautifully to augment the guitar progressions and can even put together a slow burner like ‘Marie’ with exquisite results.  ‘Marie’ is my favorite track as it has all the makings of a classic the way the songs builds and explodes towards the end.

Imaad Wasif may have floated under the radar the last decade or so but this Canadian-born musician and his new release, DZI, begs for attention.  This may be heavy psych or quality dream metal or whatever, but what you get with Wasif is heartfelt, powerful songs on DZI that happen to be built around a great voice and great guitar work and supported by a surprisingly tight band. 

Since he resides in Los Angeles now and may be inspired a bit from the likes of the Warlocks and those other psych bands that populate the western coast of America, we should all be grateful for this.  It’s been a very good year for alternative music so far in 2017 and Imaad Wasif has a contender for one of the finest yet. Don’t pass on this album.

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