Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wand :"Golem"

I have been over the so called "occult rock" bandwagon for some time now,  which was also known as vest metal, the Devil's Blood influenced the sound of many of those bands, the formula was retro fuzzed guitar and a female singer. It was stoner rock of a different color and dressed up in pentagram etched bell-bottoms. So this California band, who might not fit neatly into that scene , though carries a similar sound, gets credit for grabbing my ear. Wand released  this album on an imprint of Ty Segall's Drag City label. The feature an ex-member of Pangea, if that matters to you. They get called garage rock and while there is that sort of sound to the drums, they are more entrenched in psychedelia with an almost metal thump to the bass lines.

They rock along a weird blurred line of their psychedelic garage doom until  acoustic guitar to "Melted Rope" begins to get a little to hippy for me, though there is a slight T-Rex quality to it. If I still smoked weed it would be a different story as it sounds like it would be great to fly around on your couch to. The crazy ending might scare you if you get too high. The almost John Lennon like vocal lines sit oddly atop the the heavier fuzzed out banging beneath it. The bass player is the metal head of the band  and is laying down some doomy stony riffs under the flower power. It really takes off in a more driving direction by the end of "Cave In" that will satisfy most 420 friendly metal heads.

The Blue Cheer rumble gets thick and tricky on "Flesh Tour" despite the vocals going against the grain until they tune in and drop out on the chorus. They throw down some pretty dense rock, with almost a punk pounding until they back off for a weird indie rock jangle at the bridge. At times it's like Electric Wizard jamming with the Flaming Lips. There is some proggy weirdness that erupts when the doses really kick in mid- song.

Things get real doomy on "Planet Golem". The androgynous vocals bounce of the girth of the riffage. Things wind up getting even more intense and noisy from there. The album wraps up with "the Drift". It pulses with an almost kraut rock throb into space. The real question you might want to ask yourself as how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go. I'll be generous and give it an 9.5, but you might round it down if you have never done drugs before, I recommend starting with pot and working work way up, but you don't have to plunge your self into a Fear and Loathing lifestyle to enjoy "Golem", but it would be a whole lot cooler if you did.

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