Holy hell, what is this? My friends, this is psychedelic music as you may not have heard in years or (if you’re young enough) at all. I’m not talking about the exercises in feedback, drone and repetition associated with “psych rock”; the 1960s-inspired noodling of jam bands and their indie-rock counterparts; or the inevitable mindf–kery of noise music. No, Wand presents a more idiosyncratic and authentically inspired trip, hurtling the listener through dizzying shifts of sonic gravity and hypnotic fields of rock melody. As the track “Self Hypnosis in 3 Days” illustrates, this mysterious Los Angeles group takes from alternative rock’s hooks, punk’s speed, and metal’s disciplined force to craft an unique and relevant expression of contemporary psychedelia.
Like a sugar cube laced with LSD, “Self Hypnosis in 3 Days” is an enticing gateway into Wand’s forthcoming album Golem, which finds the band diving into even more mind-blowing material while never losing its particular finesse. Sure, there are precedents to this music — notably, the epic aspirations of Smashing Pumpkins and Janes Addiction, At The Drive In’s stop-on-a-dime kineticism, and the soaring altitudes of the late, lamented Secret Machines. Wand’s comfort in drawing upon established forms indicates the group has more pressing concerns than a superficial pursuit of stylistic novelty; that the results appeal to “120 Minutes” veterans like myself is simply gravy. The proof of the pudding is in the audible sense of purpose heard on this album, and in the consistent musical heights it attains. Golem is a major step forward for Wand, marking the arrival of a new psychedelic champion.
Golem comes out March 17 on In The Red Records.
WAND ON TOUR:
March 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
March 14 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
March 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar (Rampage Fest)
March 16 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
March 17 – Mar. 21 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 22 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
March 23 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
March 24 – Nashville, TN @ The End
March 25 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
March 26 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
March 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Black Box in Underground Arts
March 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
March 29 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
April 1 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
April 2 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.
April 3 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
April 4 – Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog
April 5 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
April 7 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue and 7th Street Entry
April 9 – Missoula, MT @ Stage 112
April 11 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
April 12 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
April 14 – Santa Rosa, CA @ Arlene Francis Center
April 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
April 16 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer