Toronto, ON trio Ace of Wands release “Vibrations” today, as their first single from a two song EP set for general release next month. As a prelude to their forthcoming full-length album in 2021 or early 2022, the powerhouse trio, led by Lee Rose (guitar/synth bass/violin/vocals), with Anna Mernieks (guitar/bass/banjo/vocals) and Jody Brumell (drums), follow a similar release sequence that they successfully launched with their previous masterful 2019 album, “Lioness.”
Self-described as a post-punk modern gothic rock band, the trio weave a sonic dreamscape with their distinctive blend of instrumentation and effects. Drawing inspiration from super sensory, elemental and natural impressions, the band’s sound is almost ethereal, as if pointing to something just at the edges of perception. But make no mistake, this band can rock. The title track from their previous album, for example, is a song of pure moving power.
“Vibrations” has its own purposeful drama, opening with a splash of cymbals and the light outline of a tremolo/reverb guitar arpeggio. Joined by the vocals, the singers intone in a breathy harmony, “Walk to the woods, I can finally breathe,” and through the doorway beckon the listener onward, forward. In the opening verses the song meanders, through the lyric, accompanied by a trance like beat and lithe guitar/vocal syncopation, until the band reaches the crescendo of the chorus, “Feel vibrations of the heartbeat / Feed my vanity with blushing cheek / Fear my judgements follow at your feet / Rid of me someday / Rid of me someday.” The song departs mightily from the dreamy, hypnotic rhythms of the verses and breaks into a maelstrom of urgently repeated phrasing, rocking tumultuously, as if the shaking will shed the somnolence, like breaking through the waterline, exhausted from the submersion.
The commanding musical performance of this threesome, all of whom work in bands of their own or side projects (Rose and Brumel in Do Good Assassins, and Mernieks in Beams), is further refined by the carefully crafted lyrical poetry, which Lee Rose recites in shape bending cadences and meter, that in itself is a stunning testament to the creativity fomenting in this band. Words slip and fall breathlessly over bar lines and the exciting story unfolds almost like cerebral slam poetry, twisting phrases and catching imagery, like bits of light refracting in a rearview mirror.
“Vibrations” is a delight and an enticing invitation to the future album. Engineered by Steven Koszler at Revolution Recording, Mike Rocha and Ace Of Wands at B-Space, their homes and a cabin in the woods, the interim “Vibrations” / “Rid Of Me” EP shall be released on July 9th, 2021.
Photo Credit: Sara May – True Nature Media