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The Boston Globe

Music

NOISY NEIGHBORS

The Wandas, ‘New Interface (A Design With Friends for the Future)’

THE WANDAS

New Interface (A Design

with Friends for the Future)

For a band that’s regularly mentioned as among the more engaging live rock ’n’ roll acts in the city, but who were, curiously, winners of best pop band at the Boston Music Awards a couple years back, “New Interface,” the opening track from the Wandas’ third LP, comes as a surprisingly understated introduction. It’s a pensive, unhurried number that drawls with slide guitar and counter-pointed backup melody behind vocalist Keith McEachern’s high-pitched singing before reaching the rousing guitar catharsis in the final seconds. It’s a lot of ground covered in such an unassuming, but instantly beguiling number that also shows off the Wandas’ knack for a simple, but weighted turn of phrase. “I just want to be accepted without exception,” McEachern repeats. “Davy Jones’ Locher” takes a stylistic hairpin turn to foreboding noir-rock, while “Mad Man” is a study in contrast, with alt-country instrumentation over up-tempo disco drums. “Killer Heart” is buoyant with sunny harmonies; “Velvet Dream” is a hang-dog, acoustic mood-sketch; and “How I’m Doing” is a portal to ’60s psych-pop. Perhaps that’s why the band has been hard to pin down, genre-wise; the good news is, they’re adept at almost all of them. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL: “New Interface”

The Wandas play T.T. the Bear’s Place on June 27.

Luke O’Neil can be reached at lukeoneil47@gmail.com.

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