26 Oct 2015
Wand – 1000 Days
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
Three albums in 13 months is impressive by anyone’s standards, but Wand aren’t satisfied merely with quantity. While they’re in danger of swamping the casual listener with a proliferation of music, those who’ve been paying closer attention will have noted the swift evolution that the band’s output has undergone. They’re releasing new music at this alarming rate not simply to have units to shift, but to document the band’s ever evolving aesthetic, and “1000 Days” is certainly the most immediately appealing of their statements to this point, and after multiple listens also proves to have surprising depths.
“1000 Days” is the most song orientated release in the band’s catalogue for now, with several of the albums highlights – “Morning Rainbow” and the exquisite title track in particular – relying almost solely on acoustic guitar and Cory Hanson’s increasingly engaging vocals. There’s plenty of noise here too, for those who like to be slapped around a bit, with the instantly recognisable “Dungeon Dropper” built upon a riff that sounds like it’s been around for centuries, while “Sleepy Dog” adds wailing, cosmic guitar leads, and huge washes of spacey synthesizer, a trend capitalised on fully on the absolutely wonderful “Passage of the Dream” with its ever-growing layers of instrumentation building into an overwhelmingly grand crescendo, but never obscuring the wistfully melodic song at its heart, not to mention that enormous, anthemic chorus.
And for those who are concerned that all of these ‘songs’ might be hampering the band’s explorative tendencies, look no further than “Dovetail”, an odd tribal experiment that sounds something like a UFO landing during a voodoo ceremony. It’s an appealing detour, but a little out of place on an album as chock full of tunes as this.
The influence of Ty Segal is still present in the jagged guitars and Hanson’s falsetto vocals, but after several albums that firmly established them as Segal’s peers, this is the first to suggest that the sons may soon overshadow the father.
My highest recommendation.
Available here for US readers, or here on CD, vinyl, and cassette for UK / EU readers.