SXSW is just around the corner, and while the beast seems to be laying somewhat dormant this year, I wanna make sure we keep you posted on what’s coming up, and who we’re excited to see. I sent some questions to Cory Hanson of Wand, who released Ganglion Reef last year, and are releasing Golem this Spring. He gave me some honest answers, and seems to have taken his time with them, which I appreciate. Thanks to Pitchperfect PR for the set up. Read more
One of the more surprising efforts from last year was the debut from Wand, Ganglion Reef. It was an album filled with a great deal of modern tropes, from psych to garage, but it looks like they’ve focused more on the garage side, only they’ve turned up the volume a touch. Their latest single has the band blasting in furiously, thought it slows down around the 2 minute mark for a nice walk in the park, all before smashing everything to bits as the song draws to a close. In the Red will release their new effort, Golem, on March 17th of this year; it should be another great listen if we’re judging one song.
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A Ty Segall show is always going to be an event at the Mohawk. Whether it’s his own performance, or the crowd jam packed into the space, you always leave knowing your place. Brian and I hit up his latest Austin stop last Friday, with local openers ThinkNoThink and Wand kicking the night off. Despite a drizzle here or there, it was sweltering inside, if one was to judge from the faces exiting the pit. Read on for a few brief thoughts and B. Gray’s photos.
Just when I think I’ve reached a point where I seem to be teeming with enough lo-fi garage rock, Wand comes around with their debut album Ganglion Reef to let me know that you can never have enough. Cory Thomas Hanson and company from L.A have won me over with their simmering and psychedelic rock music that they’ve crafted on their impressive ten track album.
Though admittedly Ganglion Reef took me a little bit of time to wrap my head around; it didn’t immediately catch my attention, but faded into the background of my multitasking. It wasn’t until the last two tracks that I somehow caught on that this group had something special they were giving out. The second to last track, “Growing Up Boys” is a subtle song, reminiscent of Dr. Dog via the vocals. A soft combination of vocals, acoustic strumming and a brooding bass line carries the song while these lines of what sounds like high-pitched synthesizer strike through, cutting the track with the psych elements. It’s a gorgeous song, with Hanson’s vocals soaked in reverb giving it a hazy glow and you just have to let it hit you with its waves of sound.
This mellow take on the garage rock genre works well for Wand, but then again so does the straight up rock and roll. Last, but certainly not least in value track, “Generator Larping” has buzzing guitars to the max and Hanson dropping into a falsetto voice that is somehow even hazier than the proceeding track. The result is great ending to the record, and these two back-to-back tracks will surely spark your interest and send you back to the start if you hadn’t already been hooked on the way, which is easy to get when you give this record your full attention or a second spin. Tracks like “Broken Candle” have catchy choruses that will get you moving, but also full on guitar solos that follow them with garage rock goodness.
Ganglion Reef is a psychedelic trip into another world from start to finish, but takes a bit warming up to if you don’t fully fall into the hazy waters the first time around. Keep falling for and with Wand… I sure will.
I probably haven’t told you how much I enjoy Wand, but now seems like the right time, especially since they just unleashed a new jam today. “Broken Candle” is the second shortest track on the record, so it’s easily digestible; it starts with a bit of a psychedelic stomp to it, though there’s a bit more of a collectivist pop bit as the tune progresses. The album, Ganglion Reef, has a great deal of fuzzy elements to it, but they walk this fine line between being noisy and radio friendly. Check out the release on August 26th via God? Records.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/03-Broken-Candle.mp3]
Need a dosage of good rock n’ roll today? Then you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this new track from Wand…though there’s a more pleasant streak to this stomper. The guitars knife in and out, though the distortion level is down in the mix, allowing for the vocals to cooly float their way into the tune. That being said, you can hear just how rocking this track would be in the live setting, with plenty of space for the members to get their rock on. You’ll actually have a chance to see it all come to fruition when the band goes on tour with Ty Segall this fall in support of their album, Ganglion Reef, which is hitting stores on August 26th via God? Records.
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