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Wand - "From A Capsule Underground" | Album Review


by Myles Dunhill (@MylesDunhill)

Wand is a psych rock band based in L.A. that have had a fairly consistent run of albums rooted in the template of burnout garage rock mind flaying. Amidst a fine streak of solid recordings, some of the trippy runoff has been gathered quite nicely in a tight package titled “From A Capsule Underground” which boasts of demos and unreleased material from the sessions that made up their debut, Ganglion Reef.

Unsurprisingly the outtakes that comprise this collection are not as half baked and tossed off as they’re made to sound. Even the raw quality of these tracks enhance the overall psychedelic appeal of the sessions providing a peak past the curtain into the realms of the unexplainable. Wand’s soundscaped free-floating jams should sound very familiar to listeners of the modern neo-psych revival and there is plenty of different material being covered in a given span. 

The opening track, “Alpha New Mexico” sets the perfect atmosphere with an ear blistering guitar torching away the cobwebs and blazing a trail right through the cerebral cortex, meanwhile “Fire On The Mountain Parts I-II-II” is the best song Circulatory System never wrote. The grand sweeping “Generator Larping” could’ve easily swapped out “Star Roving” on the latest Slowdive record, while “The Leap” could’ve easily been a standout B-side on the much revered, Clouds Taste Metallic. The comparisons also extend to the closing number, “Gong Report 4_11” which might have existed on a Tame Impala record in an alternate universe with a flanger boomeranging the mixdown into orbits of cartoonish proportions.  

If you haven’t guessed by now, this is no ordinary batch of disregarded rehearsal space shenanigans, in fact, this compilation is stronger than most bands’ studio finished LPs. Not to mention that these cuts are functioning as a group of leftovers from a singular debut album, it’s no wonder that Wand is one of the more exciting psych rock outfits going today.