[sic] Magazine

Ambassador Hazy – The Traveler

Like most of us, Sterling DeWeese hasn’t done much travelling of late, using his time instead to explore his own conscious via trippy psych-pop and 60s garage. The Traveler is the one-man outfit’s second LP under the name Ambassador Hazy, a moniker that sounds like the archnemesis or sidekick of label-home Cardinal Fuzz. DeWeese is no all-action hero though, much of The Traveler indebted to sleepy 60s patterning and simmering virtuosity.

On a strong side A, we thus encounter pastoral hallucinogenics, intangible solos, archival electric-guitar churn and the woozy yelp of Jim Morrison. Melancholy acoustics parts jangle alongside sustained organ drones, the weirder “Here Nor There” coming from the same reaches as the least friendly parts of the modern Flaming Lips canon, DeWeese drawing on the full spectrum of his underground past in bands such as Heavy Hands, Dirty Rainbow, Terrapin Gun, Madison Electric and Black Fantastic.

Only the blasting repetition of “Simple Thing” draws the big guns, its loose rhythms and crunching garage recalling a scruffier “Louie Louie”. The distorted funk of “Take The Sour With The Sweet” channels lounge lizards in turn, while VU-style jammer “Afterglow” lies back under starry skies and hands you the peace pipe. Grinding kosmiche, rickety drum machine and mangled vocal effects fill in the blanks, The Traveler delivering a kaleidoscopic odyssey on a shoestring. Welcome to planet DeWeese: population one.

Best track: “Simple Thing”

~The Traveler is released April 29th 2022 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Hazy House.~