On certain days, my introverted and ambient soul can no longer deal with meandering melodies and sub textual lyrics about sex and death. Sometimes, when things just don’t make sense, I want to drive around Nashville a reckless abandon, the sounds of a modern-day rock shouting through my stereo, numbing thoughts and celebrating the part of life that’s all “driving fast, playing fast.” Lately, that group is The Wans.
The Wans is a Nashville rock ‘n ‘ roll band, one that scoped out the sensibility of 60’s rhythms and the seedier aspects of true 90’s grit, and formed a sound that is equally digestible as it is raw. There is little pretense to the music they’re making; if their mission was to come together and create something evocative of a voluble, roaring rock sense that is simple in lyrics and tight in musicality, they succeeded.
It is uncanny the amount of sound that is induced from a trio of instrumentalists, delivered in a way that is simultaneously soaring in volume but clean in delivery. Their self-titled 2012 EP features six-songs, each of which hark back to a sense of raw and fearless rock ‘n’ roll. Mixing bluesy distortions with a venerable amount of grunge, The Wans have developed a sound that lifts, buzzes, and slides through ears, settling for long enough to digest its contents, only to then punch a rare level of excitement into the age-old idea of staying out late and getting into trouble.
With the raw power and slips of desperation in Simon Kerr’s voice, and the rumbling cohesiveness of the trio, it’s easy to add The Wan’s music into a heavy, weekend rotation; it’s the perfect sound to remind you that fun’s not dead, and you’re actually much younger than you think.
Below is singer Simon Kerr’s Nashville Five, which includes a sturdy list of bars, burritos, and guitars.
By the Wans :::
1. Melrose Billards – Melrose Billiards is located in a smoky, dingy basement off 8th avenue. The spiral staircase that leads you down to Melrose walks you straight into a cloud of smoke(sometimes so thick that you can’t see 10 feet ahead of you) & it’s awesome. The vibe down there is like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Sometimes you’ll catch John Prine playing pool next to you. This place has become my bands watering hole before shows. It’s almost tradition now. Stay away from the Jameson. Just kidding. Try the Jameson.
2. 12 South Taproom – Best selection of beer in town & it has the best wait staff. Monday is the day to go though because they have 3 dollar pints & more importantly the Kenny Vaughn Trio play every Monday night. Kenny Vaughn is one of the many fantastic guitarist in town. Absolutely mind blowing guitarist.
3. Carter Vintage Guitars – This place has such a fantastic collection of guitars. Very dangerous if you’ve got money burning a whole in your pocket. Some people are addicted to cars, jewelry & clothes, but I’m addicted to guitars. Chances are I’ll buy something if I walk in those doors so I limit the amount that I’m in that shop.
4. Baha Burrito – Fish Tacos. That is all.
5. Bookman Bookwoman – My favorite bookshop in town. They’ve got a fantastic collection & the smell of old books is so overwhelming when you walk in there. I love it. Great poetry selection. I usually get lost in books in the very back of the shop & I always buy something when I’m there. The staff pretty much know me by name in there now.