WAND are yet another group in the latest of bumper crop neo-psychedelic wunderkinds. Their debut album Ganglion Reef is like some kind of genetically engineered and overgrown mutant pumpkin. From just the right sprinkling of Barrett-era Floyd to the chugging Blue Cheer-isms, it’s an album that sticks the landing on more occasions than not. Released on Ty Segall’s now established GOD? imprint (which is available via Drag City), it’s a driving and at the same time cosmically-inclined set of songs.
As an album, it’s one that hits so many sweet spots for fans of the genre that it almost feels a bit hard to believe. Kicking things off properly with opening track, “Send / Receive (Mind)” it slowly builds into a nice psych groove before aptly dissolving into “Clearer.” A tune that hybridizes Sabbath-like heaviness while maintaining a perfect late-1960’s psych feel with tons of dreamy synths that warble and sputter like a damaged UFO hovering above the tree line. Things don’t really let up from there as Ganglion Reef provides a plethora of shifting sonic textures that keep the listener engaged.
Take “Flying Golem’s” almost Zeppelin-esque acoustic textures, or how “Strange Inertia (Ctrl Alt Death)” even drags a little of Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurs Rex type sounds into the modern era. “6661” makes me think of what would have happened if Bleach-era Nirvana had tried a lot harder to be a psych band. “Generator Larping,” brings the record to a stunning close replete with drums pounding, guitars soaring and just the perfect kiss of kosmische. I think I have to go now and watch some documentaries about alien conspiracies just to cool myself out.
Listen to “Flying Golem” below, and stream the whole LP right here.
My Rating: SS
Genre/ Tags: Psychedelic, Space Rock, Alternative
Ganglion Reef LP: Tracklist:
1.) Send/ Receive (Mind)
3.) Broken Candle
4.) Fire on the Mountain (I-II-III)
5.) On Ganglion Reef
6.) Flying Golem
7.) Strange Inertia (Ctrl Alt Death)
9.) Growing Up Boys
10.) Generator Larping