Wand, Heaters, Ego, Melkbelly | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Wand, Heaters, Ego, Melkbelly Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., April 5, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $10
On its latest blast of fuzzed-out splendor, Golem (In the Red), LA’s Wand continues to morph lumbering, ultraheavy riffing into sci-fi mind trips. I usually have little idea what singer and guitarist Cory Hanson is going on about, but it clearly has more to do with the exploration of his brain than with sojourns into outer space, as evidenced by song titles like “Self Hypnosis in 3 Days” and “Floating Head.” Huge slabs of distorted chords that recall the heyday of stoner rock levitate over churning lockstep grooves meted out by bassist Lee Landey and drummer Evan Burrows. The space those rhythms carve out allow Hanson’s nasal falsetto—which like the singing of fellow traveler Ty Segall reminds me an awful lot of John Lennon—to spill out in hypnotizing melodies. Hanson wields his voice almost like an extra guitar at times, but it more often than not floats over the music (“Reaper Invert,” for example, recalls Thom Yorke at his most drifty). And any potential spell cast by the front man is routinely broken by a mixture of bulldozer riffs, serrated leads, and gurgles and squelches of analog synthesizer. For several years the post-psych combos orbiting around Segall and Thee Oh Sees have been signaling a new golden age of rock—and I’m happy to say it seems to continue unabated. —Peter Margasak
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