Music to My Ears: Week of The Wans+New Record Out 9/9/14!

Posted: August 15, 2014 in Entries
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

If you’re like me, you take finding new music really seriously, so seriously that you Shazam your computer, the TV, or even movies at the theater. This is in fact how I came across Nashville-based grungy rock trio The Wans, whose song  “Want You” from their 2012 self-titled EP was featured on USA Network’s Necessary Roughness. I unabashedly reached out last year and managed to keep in touch like any rocker pen pals would.

Over the past year, I’ve seen the band’s notoriety increase exponentially, as they’ve landed spots at Forecastle Festival, Hangout Festival and soon, Austin City Limits.  Additionally, they announced a forthcoming full-length album, He Said She Saidout September 9, produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Rival Sons, Sturgill Simpson), mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys) and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, Kings of Leon).  Several of the tracks are already out via tastemaker sites like USA Today, Consequence of Sound, Flavorwire, PopMatters, and The AV Club, riling up anticipation of the release.  When the band was planning their “Takeover Tour” a few months back, I did the Rocker Stalker thing to do and booked them a gig at Pianos for August 2.  I had been waiting what seemed like ages to see the band live, so I took full advantage and saw them three more times after Pianos at The Bowery Electric (supporting Jesse Malin), Niagara Bar, and The Legendary Dobb’s in Philadelphia. The gigs were a blast and obviously addictive, as the trio was consistently the stand out band of the night, bringing their high-powered energy and tight musicianship to the stage. Check out the photos from the week on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook page!

 But let’s get down to business.  The new album is just plain badass. However good music possesses you, be it headbanging, dancing, flailing, moshing or taking your clothes off, He Said She Said will lead you to do so.  Fraught with bursts of raging rock, sexy grooves, and dejected lyrics, this record blends Simon Kerr’s  smooth and sultry upper register vocals and distorted guitars, Mark Petaccia’s  heavy, pounding drums, and Thomas Bragg’s penetrating bass riffs into a smoothie of rock perfection.  If you’re into “recommended if you like” comparisons, The Wans’ sound  evokes a large dose of Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana, splashed with Led Zeppelin, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden and tinges of punky brashness, a la JEFF the Brotherhood or Bass Drum of Death.  Opening with the ironically triumphant melodies of  “Never Win,” The Wans show off their knack for ear catching songwriting. I hear there’s going to be a pretty awesome video to accompany it too, so stay on the look out! He Said She Said plummets into the dark depths of the unbridled “You’re Wasting”  and “The Holy One,” which  slinks along with grinding slide guitars and smashing drums.  “What I’m Feeling” builds on grooving bass lines and oozes with seduction and growing tension, which pushes the tortured sentiment to erupt on “So Cruel,” as Kerr laments over and over, ” Why are you so cruel? Try to be a man but you treat me like a fool!”  The Wans take a minor breather with a “balladic” but burdened “Turn Your Back,” and though the slightly subdued mood seeps into the raw opening vocals of “Take Me Home,” it quickly escalates into fits of wailing choruses. “I Can’t Fix You” is probably the most contagious singalong track with “Oh’s” and “Ow’s'” that will be stuck in your head for days, and the discordant chords of  “Tired”  aptly embody the pain of the song’s message. Last but definitely not least, “Black Pony” (featured recently in a BMW commercial), is pure bluesy, grunge greatness, pushing the album to a climactic close with hypnotic beats, crunching guitars, and angst-ridden welps. The point is, this might be my favorite album of 2014 so far, and I’d recommend getting your hands on it. That’s what she said, and that’s final.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from The Wans, but in the meantime pre-order He Said She Said on Bandcamp and find the band on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Happy rocking!

DSCN3283

 

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] across Nashville-based grungy rock trio The Wans, whose song  “Want You” from their 2012 self-titled EP was featured on USA Network’s Necessary Roughness. I unabashedly reached out last year and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s