Wand grow more cerebral and intricate on “Thin Air”

Jeff Terich
Wand new album 2019 Laughing Matter

Wand get increasingly more difficult to paint into a stylistic corner the longer they’re releasing music. Once a furiously freaked-out psych rock group that both benefited and perhaps became unduly pigeonholed as part of a West Coast psych explosion headlined by Ty Segall, they’ve grown more complex and interesting as a band since then. The psychedelic aspect of their sound hasn’t abated, as evident on new single “Thin Air,” but it’s a different kind of psych. With this song, as with its predecessor “Scarecrow,” there’s a cerebral art-rock essence to their aesthetic, in league with Radiohead at their best. But there are elements of other sounds at play, including good, old-fashioned hard rock in the chorus, which makes for a satisfying climax amid the band’s exploratory vibe. “Thin Air” is densely layered, intricate, masterfully executed and gorgeous. It’s so much more than garage rock or the third coming of paisley. But the band still packs a punch where it counts.

From Laughing Matter, out April 19 via Drag City

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