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Wand

Golem

Golem artwork

Wand

2015

After releasing a fairly underwhelming debut album (Ganglion Reef) in 2014, Wand started to turn some heads somewhat with their much stronger and emphatic follow-up Golem.  While the influence of fellow psych-rock kindred spirit Ty Segall is still incredibly apparent here, it sounds like Wand is actually doing him justice on Golem, and at times, even rising up to or surpassing his level quality-wise.  The two best examples of this are on the fuzz-soaked thrash of "Self Hypnosis in 3 Days", which is just as fun as the most raucous Segall songs, and on the Ziggy Stardust-esq ballad "Melted Rope", which casts a decidedly enchanting spell on the listener. For the most part though, Golem is a heavier, more emphatic, and hookier album than it's predecessor.  It's kind of like a nerdier, thicker-sounding version of Ty Segall's Slaughterhouse album.  Again, the Segall comparisons abound here, which kind of makes Golem sound slightly too familiar, being that it's all been done before, but there are moments where you kind of forget all of that because Wand manages to genuinely impress throughout most of the album. Overall, Golem is a worthy addition to the crowded field of high-quality west coast psych-rock albums that have helped make music fun again this decade, and proves that Wand may be a band worth keeping an eye on after all.

8.0

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