Wand, Ego, Toupee, House Sounds | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Wand, Ego, Toupee, House Sounds 

When: Sun., Sept. 21, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $8
This grotty Los Angeles four-piece’s recent Ganglion Reef is a deliriously catchy, hard-rocking album, as indulgent with its sci-fi fantasias as it is with fuzz guitar; fittingly, it was released by God?, the label run by veteran scuzz rocker Ty Segall. The folks in Wand clearly love Segall’s music: like him, they elevate garage rock with sophisticated melodies, drum-tight arrangements, and irresistible electronic fillips (high-frequency electronic tones puncture the heavy psych grooves of “Clearer,” which also has a bit of the unhinged style of Thee Oh Sees). Front man Cory Hanson—who’s played with Segall bandmate Mikal Cronin and makes electronic pop under the name White—is Wand’s ace in the hole, cutting through the corrosive grime of distorted guitars with fragile, insinuating, subtly sweet vocals that recall primo Syd Barrett. (He alternates between guitar and keyboard, while Daniel Martin plays second guitar.) The band can leap from chaos to control as easily as they draw breath: the guitars on “Flying Golem” slash and glide over the foursquare drumming of Evan Burrows, who seems to be imitating Ringo Starr’s best Klaus Dinger impression, and the gorgeous ballad “Growing Up Boys” dials down into strummy, moody, acoustic territory. —Peter Margasak

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