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“DD Review: Wand – Plum.”

Score: 7.5/10

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Do not adjust your computer screen: I am actually reviewing an obscure band that isn’t from the Northwest. Is this important? Eh, nah. But I just thought I’d mention it anyway.
What is important is keeping rock and roll fresh, however the fu** you do it (the “psychedelic” label of this band is sort of erroneous, which is either a blessing or a curse or both, depending on how you look at it, though ultimately not that important). At Plum’s worst, LA’s Wand provide boring, riffy garage rock in the vein of a White Stripes cover band, and at its best, it’s got a sort of eeriness, like that cryptic music which creeps up on you and knows something you don’t. The band is able to bring the noise on the guitar outro to “Bee Karma” and Robert Cody definitely totes some serious technical wrinkles to go along with his acrobatic close-picking.
Usually when I’m deciding whether to review an album or not I take a swatch of a random middle segment of some song that’s in the middle of the album, this time having chosen “Charles de Gaulle” initially and liked it. Unfortunately, it sort of sounds better, precociously if timidly eerie and mysterious, as a snapshot than it does as a potentially ingratiating segment of the album, which brings me to the primary snag we come to on Plum. I mean, this music is just what you’d think it would be from the band name and title — it’s very down, it’s very melancholy, it’s very reflective, to the point where the overly earnest delivery approximates something like our first discovery of psychedelic emo. Is this a disguise for just not having enough SONGS in your oeuvre? I would say so. None of these tunes will really resonate as memorable to me, but again, the eerie deliberateness of Cory Hanson’s voice will hew this into passable record store background noise.
Almost as if they heard me spurring them into rambunctiousness, the band does turn up the volume a tad for the Band of Skulls-hearkening [1] “High Rise,” but when the rancor retains on the rhythm-eschewing “White Cat,” this entire project just starts to scream “identity crisis.” Cory Hanson’s voice, then, overly tender and serious, is unfit for the raucous, thickening, Billy Corgan-y effects being employed on the guitar here. Still, the band is at least tight, and I could see an unpredictable live show emanating from a heady set list compilation, given this band’s five-album catalogue as a whole.
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[1] This is overly an English blues-rock band that more people need to get into and listen to.

 

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