The new psych pop band has veteran players, and it shows.
Wishing Won’t Make It So may be the first release from local psychedelic-rock outfit B-17, but the band’s members are anything but rookies. B-17 is like the Voltron of Torontonian psych pop, drawing players from such local scene staples as Action Makes, the Hoa Hoa’s, and the Easy Targets. That experience shows. The record is cohesive and polished. It sounds more like a third album—with all the bugs worked out—than a debut.
B-17 manages to embrace a diverse array of sounds without sounding scattered. “Bad Situation” is a thrashy, punk-inflected stomper, while “My Love” is slow and creeping, filled with blues-influenced guitars. “Pay Back My Mom” may be the most interesting song on the record. Filled with chiming guitars and more echoey vocals, it almost sounds like something that could have been recorded by the Stone Roses.
The title track is the closest thing the album has to straight-ahead rock and roll, with its pounding drums and crunchy guitar riffs. Even then, B-17 puts a unique twist on things, with vocals that are so distant and distorted that they sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a mine shaft. (You can listen to “Wishing Won’t Make It So” by clicking on the sample above.)
If Wishing Won’t Make It So is anything to go by, there’s no reason B-17 shouldn’t blow up beyond the local scene. Their brand of heavy, fuzzy, trippy rock has a wide-reaching appeal. Get into them now, so you can say you liked them before they were cool.