Ganglion Reef by Wand on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

That so many musicians continue to explore the psychedelic sounds birthed in the '60s is proof that the electronic innovations made in those days were of major importance. Jimi Hendrix was the virtuoso musician who brought it to the masses, but garage bands like The Seeds, The Chocolate Watchband, and hundreds of other lesser-knowns were all just as spellbound by the sounds they could suddenly make, as were the kids who grew up in subsequent decades. Electric guitar players love effect pedals, and the Los Angeles–based Wand seem pretty consumed with them too. The acoustic-based “Growing Up Boys” starts as an effect-free portrait of the group, but even here the need for experimentalism augments the gentle ballad. Other tracks like “Strange Inertia,” “Send/Receive (Mind),” and “Broken Candle” are obsessed with otherworldly textures.

EDITORS’ NOTES

That so many musicians continue to explore the psychedelic sounds birthed in the '60s is proof that the electronic innovations made in those days were of major importance. Jimi Hendrix was the virtuoso musician who brought it to the masses, but garage bands like The Seeds, The Chocolate Watchband, and hundreds of other lesser-knowns were all just as spellbound by the sounds they could suddenly make, as were the kids who grew up in subsequent decades. Electric guitar players love effect pedals, and the Los Angeles–based Wand seem pretty consumed with them too. The acoustic-based “Growing Up Boys” starts as an effect-free portrait of the group, but even here the need for experimentalism augments the gentle ballad. Other tracks like “Strange Inertia,” “Send/Receive (Mind),” and “Broken Candle” are obsessed with otherworldly textures.

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3:34
2:40
5:07
0:19
3:20
3:21
3:42
3:46
6:08

About Wand

Los Angeles-based garage fuzz quartet Wand formed in 2013, pulling together guitarist/vocalist Cory Hanson, drummer Evan Burrows, guitarist Daniel Martens, and bassist Lee Landey as purveyors of sludgy, psychedelic garage rock. They quickly put together an abundance of material that straddled the line between melodic and noise-heavy, issuing split singles with artists like Mikal Cronin and Meatbodies before being signed by Ty Segall to his Drag City spinoff label God? for the release of their 2014 debut LP, Ganglion Reef. Wand embarked on a tour supporting Segall for the release of the album. The band's next album was recorded over a 12-day span by Chris Woodhouse at The Dock in Sacramento, California, and saw the band expanding its sound with synthesizers and showing a deeper heavy metal influence. Golem was released in early 2015 by In the Red Records. Not a band to waste any time, Wand returned before the end of the year with their third album, 1000 Days. Released by Drag City proper this time, the album saw Wand incorporating more electronics into their sound, while integrating their metal and psych elements even further.

They also toured frequently, playing many shows with Ty Segall, who was impressed enough to subsequently play a number of shows with Hanson as an acoustic duo. He also added Hanson and Burrows to his backing band the Muggers for his 2016 touring dates. Thanks to this, Wand was uncharacteristically quiet on the recording front during 2016, with Hanson spending time working on a solo album. The acid folk-inspired, lushly orchestrated The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo was released by Drag City in late 2016. Around that time, Wand expanded their lineup by adding guitarist Robbie Cody and keyboardist/vocalist Sofia Arreguin. This also led to a change in the way the band wrote songs. Where previously Hanson brought finished songs to the rest of the group, now they spent time in their rehearsal space working out songs together. This new style of writing and the new members led to some sonic differences on their 2017 record, Plum, on which the creepy, claustrophobic psychedelia and bludgeoning metal of the past were downplayed in favor of classic rock influences and more expansive-sounding indie rock. ~ Fred Thomas

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