The Wands – The Dawn review

TWNovember 3rd sees The Wands release their debut album, The Dawn, via Fuzz Club Records – ironically, “fuzz club” seems a fitting description of the act. The Danish songwriting duo’s work oozes with a sound that can only be forged after long periods of time – it’s a sound that’s spent twenty years growing up together brewing, and it forces itself into the record through a doom-psychedelic sound, almost atmospheric in its intensity. The ten track compilation seems to hold a gravitational pull in its make up, securing their sound from the off.

Throughout the record there’s a sense of extremes; sub three-minute bursts of abstract sound contrast with long, epic movements stretching into oblivion, all powered by the same psychedelic-grunge sound. It’s a sound that’s fairly continuous throughout, and while it’s a solid structure they’ve got going in their music, it eventually becomes a little repetitive. What begins as something refreshingly niche keeps revisiting itself to become old rather quickly.

Sound Of The Machine has previously been one of our Featured Tracks and opens the album atmospherically, with a heaviness that fortunately doesn’t impinge on the clarity of the lyrics. There’s a strange tinge to the music, an almost ska undertone with a massive psychedelic fuzz disorientating the whole thing bizarrely; it wouldn’t surprise me much if record-player scratches appeared in the tracks, with a general old-school feel pressing on the edge.

Although And Full Of Colours is marginally lighter, there’s very little difference between the tracks otherwise; almost delirious sounding vocals compliment the sound perfectly. This is the only track on the album that I felt they should’ve extended the guitar solo on – a bit of a true rock moment shone through here, and this short track could easily be dragged out in a live show by playing up the close.

My personal favourite off the record comes in the fourth track, She’s Electric. Showing a little more life than the others, the vocals sound a little more than lethargic for once, almost nudging at a sense of passionate admiration. It’s a stand out track for the potential it holds, and there are moments where you can imagine an album based on this sound being a world wide phenomena.

Unfortunately, the rest of the record seems to dissolve into a mix of brilliant lyricism not given enough attention, and long, aimless instrumental solos that seem to hold no purpose. Whilst these at first promise to be quirky and captivating, they rapidly bleed away into sound of no real intent or purpose. It’s a feature that’s forgivable on the shorter tracks, but in seven minute finale, The Name Of The Mountain, it’s far from that.

This is a record so flecked with promise that it seems a shame to have ended up so overdone, and while it’s true to itself in the keeping of the same sound, it almost overbearing by the close of the ten tracks.

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