Wand – 1000 Days (Drag City)

1000 Days is the second Wand album of 2015, and the L.A. band’s third full-length since debuting with Ganglion Reef in 2014. Their previous album, Golem, impressed with its mix of thundering proto-metal songs and psych-punk lunacy – the kind of stuff that placed them alongside similarly-minded bands Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall (whose current band, The Muggers, features members of Wand). While 1000 Days retains some of the elements from Golem’s best songs, they’re now shrunk down into sections, instead of whole songs. The band try to cover a lot more ground here, taking frequent detours into acid-folk, studio-assisted psychedelic explorations, and generally calmer brands of weirdness. In fact they jump around from style-to-style, sound-to-sound, in a rapid-fire way not heard since the Elephant 6 collective of psychedelic bands was big in the late-’90s. Fair game to Wand for wanting to try new things, but most of 1000 Days isn’t structurally strong enough to weather their almost constant shape-shifting. By peeling back the Sabbath-gone-punk elements and letting acoustic guitars or synths take the spotlight on songs like the title track or “Stolen Footsteps” they expose singer Cory Hanson’s thin voice, and bad songwriting choices like beating every good lyric they stumble onto (ex: “I don’t need a thing/Cuz I’ve had every dream”) into the ground with repetition. The band still has their exciting moments like the doomy “Broken Sun” and “Paintings Are Dead” but you have to shuffle through a lot of standard-issue material to find ’em.