Driving, yet melodic. Grungy and fuzzed out. Wing Dam are the rare band who embrace a kind of sonic duality, one that places them outside a particular time or place, and imbues the music with a certain palpable, yet indescribable energy. The guitar heroics of Austin Tally, combined with the rhythmic engine of bassist Sara Autrey and drummer Abram Sanders, weave a sonic tapestry that is heavy, but at the same time surprisingly delicate. Their vocals summon an air of nostalgia, memories of summers past and times forgotten, but their music is direct and unmistakably present. Supercharged with loud-quiet-loud dynamics, the churning guitar pop of Wing Dam sits somewhere between the heavenly fuzz of Hum and the sun-glazed bliss of Siamese Dream.
With two previous full-lengths, a number of tours and a devout following under their belt, Wing Dam are set to release their third album, Glow Ahead. Like their second album Shifter Bliss, the new LP was recorded by Rob Girardi at Wright Way Studios in the band's hometown of Baltimore. Over the course of two sessions in October 2015 and February 2016, Wing Dam hammered out six songs by Tally and six by Autrey that tackle the ideas of helplessness, monotony, bleak situations, and the more tangible struggles of city living; a lyrical contrast from the band's musically bright tones, but also perhaps an omen, one that subtly foretold the band's upcoming relocation to the warmer climes of San Diego.
Regardless of where the band ply their trade, Glow Ahead represents another step forward in the evolution of the anthemic sound that Wing Dam have come to embody. Spacious yet grinding, "Feel Real" and "Beached" demonstrate the primary songwriting of Autrey and Tally respectively, though both pieces achieve their full power through the transcendental chemistry of the band as a whole. "She Clouds" takes the torch-burning energy the band is known for and opens it up to let Tally's lyrics float above, culminating in a crushing bridge and reprise, while "Job" sees the band at its heaviest, simultaneously slinging chunky metal chords in the chorus while Autrey lends ambient sighs to Tally's tense lyrics in the verses.
Glow Ahead shows that while Wing Dam thrive on duality, they ultimately succeed by reinforcing each other's pursuit of a singular musical vision.