Teddy Rizzo just flipped Sydney’s rock scene on its head with his debut EP Wai Kei.
On his debut EP, Teddy Rizzo throws away everything you thought you knew about rock and ushers in a new-and-improved era. Wai Kei is an 18-minute, instrumental journey through the margins of heavy metal, rock, grunge, and indie that hits much harder than your average debut.
The Sydney-based instrumentalist doesn’t just go against these genres however, he completely rewrites the manuscript. Through piercing hooks and irresistible melodies, Rizzo defines a genre devoid of lyricism, where rock-adjacent music is treated less as backing material and more as a conduit for imagery in itself.
Opening with a stadium-sized riff, Wai Kei’s opening track Desert Ghost offers the perfect blend of grunge and heavy metal to ease you into the next 18-minutes of ferocity. It is a taster, an introduction, and a hypothesis, all in one. Enter the EP’s second track. Although acidic in its own right, Thunderbird serves to cool down the collection. You can almost feel as it turns the air-con on in the sweat-box created by Desert Ghost, the perfect transition into the album’s third track.
Deep Hearts bursts through with an indie-rock feeling do it. The most sonically vivid single on the EP, it holds warmth without burning and delivers grit without the gravel. It is the track that opens up Wai Kei to a number of other audiences that could have otherwise been glossed over.
Waves then crashes through with riffs that almost border on electronic, evoking a digital-facing atmosphere. It is dense in its sonic but feels refreshing, in a distorted, gut-punching kind of way.
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Aves is definitely a highlight on the EP, creating this perfect balance between deep, sonic richness during its verses and quintessential piercing choruses. It ushers you into this false soundscape, giving your ears time to recover before cranking up the distortion and reminding you what the record is all about. Not to mention that its bridge boasts riffs that most guitarists can only dream of.
Titan II brings us back to some solid, heavy rock, bursting our eardrums for one final, head-banging session. With the intensity that its name suggests, the song brings its brawn through an air-tight rhythm section and indistinguishable bass and guitar lines.
“Giving voice to emotion through his guitar, Teddy’s unique concept breathes new life into the genre and brings us an electrifying introduction with the release of his debut EP,” the artist’s press release reads. “The songs were originally one-minute riffs that I recorded as Instagram videos just for fun, then I realised I had so many of them and I really need to do something more with them,” Rizzo adds.
Recorded at Golden Retriever Studios in Marrickville with the talents of Philadelphia Grand Jury’s Simon and Dan, Wai Kei punches through with the full weight of Rizzo’s talents and versatility. We’re all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what he delivers next.
Check out Wai Kei below: