Wand

Perfume

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

After an album that saw Wand shifting from Cory Hanson's project where he called all the shots to a fully fledged band, consequently losing some of the claustrophobic brilliance of earlier work, the 2018 EP Perfume is another democratic effort that suffers the same fate. While the seven songs included aren't exactly bad, they just lack the attention to detail and spooky outsider psych feel of Wand when it was only Hanson pulling the strings. Songs like the opening title track, which rages and roils like Thee Oh Sees on a bender, has plenty of energy, but lacks that certain something that could set it apart from the crowd. The proggy rave-up "Town Meeting" has lots of the weirdness of past songs, but is missing a hook. The EP-ending "I Will Keep You Up" has a rambling, sandblasted feel reminiscent of Mazzy Star at their loosest, but it just wanders aimlessly and never pays off sonically or emotionally. That's kind of the way it goes through the whole record: A series of near misses. Except for when the misses are by a larger margin, like on the over-stuffed modern rockers "The Gift," that encroaches on stadium indie à la Coldplay, or on "Pure Romance," a song so utterly pleasant it sounds nothing at all like the Wand of the past. It's clear that Hanson was looking for a change in the way Wand operated; it's also clear that he gave away far too much control to his band, especially since they seem dead set on making the blandest version of Wand possible. If it were another band's name on the cover, the disappointment wouldn't be as palpable. It is though, and Perfume is the group's second bummer in a row.

Track Listing

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