Music

Wand: 1000 Days

1000 Days is the blissed-out soundtrack to a society on the verge of collapse.


Wand

1000 Days

Label: Drag City
Release Date: 2015-09-25
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1000 Days is the third album by Wand, their debut arrived August of last year and a follow up soon after in March of this year. They’re prolific, that’s certain, a trait befitting a group that’s labelmates with Ty Segall. While at its heart a garage rock record, Wand has added some extra texture to this LP with the addition of a synthesizer. The synth is a welcome addition, they add some really lovely sonic details and allow Wand to be a little experimental.

1000 Days is a hooky and tuneful album, cut from the same cloth as Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. Buoyed by a raft of catchy melodies, a dash of feedback. It plays best to a listener in an altered state, though the crunchy, fuzzy guitar certainly maintains appeal for the non-chemically enhanced individual.  This is a record just begging to be played at the loudest possible volume. 

“Grave Robber” kicks things off with a velocity reminiscent of the The Amboy Dukes’ “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” It’s offbeat enough to earn a place on a Nuggets collection. “Broken Sun” is a grower, the tempo backs off quite a bit from the preceding track. Fans of the more drone-oriented cuts by Thee Oh Sees should add this to their rotation. “Paintings Are Dead” features a super catchy the melody and an acoustic guitar straight out of Mikal Cronin. It has a bright and chipper tone, like sunlight peaking through the leaves during the golden hour. The contrast of acoustic guitar and distorted electric guitar works beautifully as do the synths. The synthesizers never intrude and add a nice bit of texture and color to the song and lend it a feeling of brightness and cheerfulness.

“Dungeon Dropper” has a super heavy riff that wouldn’t be out of place on a Blue Cheer or Black Sabbath record. It’s heavy but not ponderous, like some sludgier forms of metal. “Dovetail” is a bit of a departure for the album, it’s a longer instrumental that makes great use of the synthesizers. It’s a nice palate cleanser to end the side. The sequencing on 1000 Days is particularly excellent and the songs never blend into one and other.

The title cut is another summery cut that is destined for a slot on the mixes of heartsick, sensitive indie kids the world over. This track has an air of British psychedelia to it due to the Anglophile vocals and sugary-sweet melody. It’s a lovely effect and “1000 Days” is a real highlight of the album. “Lower Order” is heavy and abrasive like “Dungeon Dropper” was, it’s another place to get your fix for super heavy riffing.

“Sleepy Dog” is another lovely and melodic number, the harmonies on the vocals are notable. It’s a splendid bit of psych-pop.

“Stolen Footsteps” is another experiment involving synthesizers and the variety of sonic textures they provide. It’s a risk that works, it doesn’t sound quite like anything else on the album. It’s not as immediately likable as the poppier tracks, but it’s nice to see the band get out of their comfort zone a little bit. “Passing of the Dream” has the makings of an album closer: it’s not, but the heightened emotions and energy of the song certainly give it the feel of one. It’s a great penultimate track. “Little Dream” hardly counts as a penultimate track as it clocks in at under 40 seconds. It’s more of an interlude than anything. 

“Morning Rainbow” is a great album closer, picking up on the lyrical themes of being young and trying to navigate the labyrinth of horrors that is late capitalism.

This is a fine effort by Wand and well worth seeking out for those with a taste for garage rock not yet sated by releases this year from Mikal Cronin, Warm Soda and Thee Oh Sees.

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