Organized Distortion: A Live Review of Wand at Bottom of the Hill

04/24/2015

Praise that baby J: for those of you who’ve had an ear to the ground, psychedelic rock is back in full force. LA-based Wand stopped by Bottom of the Hill in Potrero last week and absolutely blew the fucking doors off.

To give you a quick intro, Wand recently released their second full-length album, “Golem,” in March of this year, and it’s a heater. Ominous riffs, shrieking wall-of-sound guitar and melodic vocals washed out in reverb (in an awesome way), the album delivers a stellar nine track escape from reality.

In terms of the show, things escalated quickly, opening with one of my personal favorites off the new album, “Unexplored Map.” The band was able to take these very driven, instrumentally-inclined songs and completely break them down, piece by piece, into gut-busting, organized fits of distorted feedback. And just when you thought they were going to end the song, they’d whoop that shit back into high gear, seamlessly jumping back in wherever they left off. They played a few other lightning bolts from their new album like “Reaper Invert,” “Melted Rope,” “Self Hypnosis in 3 Days” and “Planet Golem,” along with a few older tunes like “Flying Golem” and “Generator Larping.” It was almost a comforting sound – easy to get lost in, but one that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands that you listen. Not to mention, they had a decent-sized mosh pit going towards the front, which was refreshing to see. To finish things off, they came back on for a two song encore much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

It’s really awesome to see new psychedelic rock like this coming out. Bands like Ty Segall, the Bay Area’s own Sleepy Sun and WOVE, formerly A Million Billion Dying Suns. And fans of Ty Segall will not be surprised to learn that Ty and Wand recently shared a west coast tour, and have been running in the same musical circles for years. The band is touring like crazy right now, so check out their tour dates and stop in if they’re in your town.

So – in short, go listen to this band right now. Go tell your friends about this band. Go blast their music from the rooftops and spread the word. This is what I’ve been doing, because damnit, it’s just great music – the kind that just about anyone can get into. So go forth, explore the psych-grunge ether, and most importantly – get weird to this awesome music.