In The Red
As the eerie space wind samples that precede Golem greet your ears, there’s a sense of trepidation and tension instilled, but its laced with magic and set to explode. Wand’s opening riffs are as merciless as they come, and take a firm grip on your malleable mind that refuses to let go for thirty five minutes straight.
Tube amps cooking hot and phasers set for the heart of the sun, Wand sound like Sleep on speed. The sheer power and noise behind ‘The Unexplored Map’ is enough to knock you straight through a stone wall, and it’s both terrifying and exciting that this is just the beginning of their nine track assault.
Sure, you could argue that there’s a somewhat saturated scene as of late, with any old Tom, Dick or Harry shouting the odds over a din of feedback and fuzz and calling it “psych”. But Wand are the antidote to these teenage dirt bags, standing alone in their own bold sonic dimension.
Tracks like ‘Reaper Invert’ and ‘Floating Head’ summon the kind of sludge you’d expect to hear oozing like molasses from the double-stacks of King Buzzo, while ‘Melted Rope’ floats up to newfound cosmic territories with delight, seeing frontman Cory Hanson’s vocal warble almost recalling that of Lennon’s, if he’d hooked up with Kevin Parker via some time travel assisted jam.
Wand’s display of fine sonic wares doesn’t stop there, though. ‘Cave In’s misleading riffs morph into a crazed double-time stampede of swirling noise that just cries for the volume knob on your hi-fi to be, not cranked, but yanked clean off in a frenzy of ear-bending glee. Shortly before namesake ‘Planet Golem’ stoops to Sabbath levels of dark doom rock before oscillating into near-speed metal territory.
Long after Golem has peaked, you’re left marvelling at a record that unites both the futuristic and the fantastical. Whether you’re a fan of medieval sludge and doom, or sci-fi synth mystique, Wand show no fear in blending the two together seamlessly.
Golem is out now on In Red Records.