It was quite a drag to learn that Boston’s The Wandas – a onetime OurStage Artist of the Week – were going on indefinite hiatus. We’d loved their self-titled LP, and the follow-up was even better. But such is life for indie rock bands and their fans.
Of course, we should have been looking forward to what was inevitably to come from the individual members of the band. Brent Battey has formed a pretty groovy, early-Beach Boys-inspired surf rock band called Le Roxy Pro. Check out this video for “Coral Coralles.”
This past winter, Keith McEachern released a true solo album, having written, performed, and recorded every song on Double Down. He released “My Education” as the first video from the LP, and just today Vanyaland premiered the follow-up video, for the song “Pleasant.” Check out both below:
The Wandas rarely deliver exactly what you expect. When this writer happened upon their afternoon set at South By Southwest a couple of years ago, they were about three-quarters of the way through and had nearly reached the crashing crescendo that would find them spilling off the small roofdeck stage and into the enthusiastic crowd, instruments held aloft, strummed, banged, and fedback, for what seemed like the entire last song.
The band and I happened to be leaving the venue at the same time and when I told them how I’d enjoyed the set, they handed me their self-titled 12 LP. Based on their show, I looked forward to a hooky, high-octane garage rock romp. Yes, a romp, dammit. What I heard was indeed energetic rock and roll, but it was deeper, more thoughtful and introspective. It was the first new album I’d heard in a while that contained honest-to-god guitar work, in the vein of Television and Neil Young. It was psych and pop and jamming, all rolled into a concise musical language. I knew what they meant.
Now, a new album for 2013. New Interface (A Design with Friends for the Future) was released June 25th. And once again, the band has confounded expectations with appreciable growth. Having fully realized on their first album the often-elusive cohesion of being in a gritty yet cerebral rock band, The Wandas have added a diverse songwriting palette, highlighted by increasingly elaborate and deliberate production.
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