Feature Band: Wondercrash
P.A. buzz and blue strobe lights flicker as the band takes the stage. Vocalist and guitar player David Bagley finds his place at the forefront of the band, center stage. He’s a dark-haired, James Dean type, a teen rebel grown into a 20-something terror. Unassuming bassist Jon Bray hides behind guitarist Chris Camberlango, who hides behind his dark glasses. Jamie Shuman is stripped to the waist, ready for his musical workout, making his presence known behind the drum kit. Pat Munson, the newest band member, makes his own space on the small stage, adding new dimension to the band with additional guitar and vocals.
The band is Wondercrash.
What’s to wonder about?
The music is dark—moody at times. Angst is a major part of David’s vocals, complementing his low vocal register and adding fullness to Wondercrash’s music. Melancholic, but not depressing, here is a version of reality seen through the eyes of real people and realized in musical form.
After playing together in other incarnations, the five wonders settled into Wondercrash last October. You’ve probably seen one or more of them playing in a different band at one time or another. Chris played with Potato Heads and Boxcar Kids; Dave, with Blood Poets, which progressed into Howl; Pat, with Subject To Change (soon to be heard on the City by a Dead Lake LP); Jamie, in Massacre Guys and Boxcar Kids; Jon with “no one really well known,” spending much of his time working on soundtrack music for some student films. They’ve been in more local Salt Lake bands than most people know exist.
But it’s Wonderchrash that’s been their greatest success.
Blue vinyl has flooded the Salt Lake Valley and is creeping into the surrounding areas. Last March saw Wondercrash in the studio recording their recently released six-song EP. The band had come to the decision that they either had to “make it happen ourselves” or else it wasn’t going to happen. The band felt they had some really strong material that would translate well on vinyl, so they took Wondercrash into Anderson Studios, and the result is now available for listening. Pick up a copy and decide for yourself.
Songs were chosen by popular vote within the band. Each member—except Dave, who was on vacation—made up his “top six” list of songs. Amazingly, the lists overlapped enough to make the final decision an easy one. Makes you proud to be an American. Democracy even works in a band.
Listening to the EP and seeing the band live leaves less and less to wonder about Wondercrash. Their music says it all: guitar based rock n’ roll with the energy of a 95-mile-per-hour train wreck. Driven by unique drum background beats, the band moves forward, adding bass and layer upon layer of intricate guitar work. The final touch is the rough-edged vocals which pulls the songs together, binding them tightly, wrapping them up and tossing them into the musical abyss.
A west coast tour is in the works for the fall. Wondercrash are anxious to hit the road and share their sound with more of the country. They had a full house at their Cinema In Your Face record release party, showing that they can play to please, and they have the following to prove it.
Three guitars live on stage. Pat has taken over parts of songs that were overdubs in the studio—taken over and added to them. It can’t be easy to take three guitars and give them each a distinct voice, but Wondercrash have figured out how to do it. And they do it. They’re louder than the hum of the P.A. They are goo-ood.
The EP is number one on the K-UTE charts and has made it into the College Music Journal report. Wondercrash are making it happen for themselves.
So stop wondering.
Check out Wondercrash live July 11 at Siren Song in Provo. Look for more dates to follow.