A Psychedelic Trip Through ‘Ganglion Reef’

A Psychedelic Trip Through ‘Ganglion Reef’

Adriana SaboThursday,28 August 2014

The Snap: 

L.A. has given birth to another band, whose expression can best be described as psychedelic indie garage rock (in case there is no such thing, these guys just made it up and I just named it). The men behind Wand’s music are Cory Hanson (vocals, guitar, synth), Evan Burrows (drums), Daniel Martens (guitar), and Lee Landey (bass) and their main goal with this album was to take you to a fantastic journey through imaginary landscapes. The first reaction to their music is that unique, strange sense of wonder, and let me tell you: it doesn’t go away. This sensation is made stronger by the fact that you can’t find out too much about them from the internet, so you are forced to make your own judgement of them, without the influence of what the band members have to say about themselves.

The Download: 

Their debut album is titled Ganglion Reef, and it just appeared, introducing wider audiences to the mystique of Wand. The album has 10 tracks and each title reveals a bit more about the idea that drives these musicians:

The first idea that sprang to my mind is that, if you are a fan of Epic Fantasy or Science Fiction novels, this album is just the thing for you. It has it all: imaginary worlds, humor,  a tale of a journey and all this is spiced up with a psychedelic, acid-like pop-rock played by a band that surely started their career in someone’s garage, playing the raw, untamed music that obviously inspired this album.

Ganglion Reef opens with a heavy, loud, aggressive and energetic track that will catch your ear immediately, locking you down on your chair and making you listen to the whole thing. This fantastic, shining energy is present throughout the album. It will grab you buy the ears and will not let you go. The second track leans more heavily on the tradition of psychedelic rock of, say the Beatles. The production also evokes the weirdness of the sixties. As you move through the album, you will hear many different styles and many different ideas coming forth. The one thing that holds them all together is the unique combination of the retro-rock sound and the voice of Cory Hanson – soft, high-pitched, with a lot of echo added to it – that makes an unmistakable reference to the sound of indie pop. Thus, Wand plays very imaginatively with all these influences, sounding sometimes as a hard rock band, sometimes evoking the sound of, say, Black Sabbath, and exploiting the contrast between the sound of acoustic guitar and the heavily distorted electric guitar etc. The most interesting track in this sense is most definitely “Strange Inertia (Ctrl Alt Death)”, whose music is, contrary to the title, very bright and maybe even happy, evoking the spirit of colorful hippie clothes, flowers and hallucinogenic drugs.. Event though the sound grows more heavy as the track goes on, the cheerful mood remains.

Everything about this album is surreal, I’d say. As soon as you feel like you’ve figured a track out, something unexpected happens and you become baffled again. If you haven’t heard of them yet, undo your mistake immediately, and let Wand take you on a fantastic, tripy journey through Ganglion Reef.

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Hat Tips:

PitchforkSoundcloud, Alternative Nation, Image Credit: Flickr

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