Wand - Laughing Matter - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Wand - Laughing Matter

by James Weiskittel Rating:7 Release Date:2019-04-19
Wand - Laughing Matter
Wand - Laughing Matter

Bursting onto the scene in 2014, the L.A.-based Wand has wasted little time in establishing themselves as one of the indie scene's hardest working bands. And now, with four albums, one E.P., and countless live shows under their collective belts, the band is set to release their fifth album (in as many years), Laughing Matter.

Drawing upon a wide range of influences, Laughing Matter picks up right where Wand’s 2017 release, Plum, left off. Described by the band as “a record about love in a time of terror," the album’s first single (and opening track) “Scarecrow” underscores this point perfectly. Singer Cory Hanson’s increasingly Thom Yorke-esque vocals slowly unravel over a bed of percussive guitars and sparse piano chords while the rest of the band settles into a hypnotic groove.

“xoxo” follows suit, building to beautifully chaotic sonic climax while the driving “Walkie Talkie” finds the band venturing into ‘MC5’ territory. Wand’s penchant for eclecticism has long been their calling card, and in that respect, Laughing Matter is not all that different from their previous work. From gentle, finger-picked ballads (“High Plains Drifter”) to noisy, post-rock leaning epics (“Wonder” and the nine-minute “Airplane”), the band throws a whole lot of music against the wall over the course of the album’s fifteen tracks - and most of it sticks.

But while Wand turns up the fuzz with the best of them, it’s the album’s more meditative moments that really showcase what Hanson and Co. are capable of. “Rio Grande” and “Wonder II” are surreal, understated gems that unfortunately bookend the self-indulgent clusterfuck that is “Lucky’s Sight” (easily one of the album’s more forgettable moments).

And therein lies the rub with Wand, as the ‘everything-and-the-kitchen-sink’ approach is still a double-edged sword for the band. There’s an amazing ten-song record floating around somewhere within the confines of Laughing Matter’s hour-plus run-time, but to hear it, you’re gonna have to skip a track every now and then.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Wand - Laughing Matter - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Wand - Perfume EP
  • 05/21/2018
  • By Chris Milburn
Wand - Laughing Matter - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Wand - Plum
  • 09/09/2017
  • By Bill Golembeski