The Wants // Photoset

February 26th | The Lanes

Why be in one band at the top table in 2020 when you could be in two? Bodega guitarist, Madison Velding-VanDam and Bodega bassist, Heather Elle have a strong dual claim via the excellent new three-piece, The Wants, along with Jason Gates on drums. Playing one of Bristol’s smaller venues was a sign that they’ve yet to attain the heights of their current trajectory. Yet it ought to take album one, due this year, to render people’s radars ultra-sensitive to their atmospheric brand of post-punk darkness and see them hit their peak. It was also evident that word is getting around, with a substantial and expectant crowd, who appreciated the band’s proximity, perhaps before they appear on further-away stages in future tours.

Unschooling owed a certain pleasant unpredictability to their name. They sounded like they’d learned the rules of music and then gradually set out to break them, one by one, for maximum sonic benefit. They warmed the crowd and the venue up excellently and were a highly suitable warm-up and a well-matched support for the headliners. When it came to The Wants, the driving grooves of the bass were a constant heartbeat of the set. The synths owed a pleasant little something to electronica’s dark lord, Gary Numan. The energy of the band as a whole, with Velding-VanDam at the epicentre, made the band feel beyond a ‘want’ and more of a ‘need’. Sometimes the ‘buzz’ around ‘buzz bands’ is as irritating as the noise an insect makes when dive-bombing your ear. Sometimes that ‘buzz’ makes you feel buzzy too. The latter is palpably true of The Wants.

See the video for ‘Fear My Society’ here: