Three full-length albums in little over a year, that sounds like magic. Wand have kept on rolling, and their new album 1000 Days is their newest trick. With playful vocals accompanying entrancing beats, the album takes off where they left off. And by the time you're done listening, their fourth album should be just about finished!
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Wand are sweethearts I think. Okay, they riff hard and push psych around like it’s a boulder in the way of a real good cave, but I know deep down they just wanna make Christmas number ones. Three songs into ‘1000 Days’, their third fucking album in just over a year, they start sounding like Tom Petty, which I think you’ll agree was no inevitability: they could’ve avoided the twinkling, snow-globed piano and cosy acoustic strums of “Paintings are Dead” if they wanted to, but they did not. To top it off, their record sleeve comes with two instructions: “Abolish the prison system” and “Down with American Imperialism”. Decent psych politics.
What I didn’t tell you about “Paintings are Dead” is that Wand are clearly very embarrassed of their less hard-psych inclinations and quickly douse their folk pop song in crunchy guitars and all that cool shit, but my point stands -- this is still a gleeful band with an abundance of hooks, one whose guitars wobble as if scoring a cartoon on “Dungeon Dropper”, which also comes with its fair share of emotive, feel-something-please harmonies. It’s hard to make people feel anything other than tired and put upon listening to a lot of psych pop in this vein, but Wand keep it fresh: different timbres, slick, distinguishing intros (the multi-directional percussive jam of “Dovetail”) and accidental folk songs you’d half-expect to find amidst a Guided by Voices album.
I can hear Laurie and Clint arguing about the internet in the other corner of our office, but I’m too busy being thrown back to old-school psych pop to give a shit about their problems, and I think that sums up ‘1000 Days’ nicely: a breezy record detrimental to detriment, making life feel both easy and adventurous with its plethora of psych stylings. Suffice to say the best song on the record is the one that assembles pop from as many different corners as possible -- “Stolen Footsteps” jumps off a programmed beat into kosmische synths from a modular bedroom, and acoustic strums you might hear played by some asshole at a university party. Happy freshers’ week!
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