[7.5% ABV, 100% ROCK] The arrival of new music by Wow and Flutter is exciting not only for the aural treats on the new Double Deuce EP but also for how the band is releasing it: as a download accessible only after buying a bottle of a specially brewed Double Deuce Imperial Ale from Alameda Brewing. The combination is fitting considering how far the band has moved from a spacier sound that worked best under the influence of psychoactive drugs. These days, Wow and Flutter has embraced its inner power trio, stripping down to a meatier, starchier attack that pairs well with a head-buzzing brew. The songs on Double Deuce are a furious lot, with the band's punk upbringing coming boldly to the fore on "Big Guns" and "Little Red Scooter," while still letting a little of the psychedelic sunshine in on longer tracks like the set closer âBlack River.â
What's most fascinating on Double Duece is hearing Cord Amato embrace his role as a singer with both abandon and authority. Even after almost 15 years leading this outfit through various permutations and sonic fluctuations, he sounds like he's finally coming into his own. You can hear it in the brave yowl with which he closes out "Big Guns" and in the pleading tone he takes on "Big River"—both songs that provide goose-bump-inducing moments. The rest of the band must have felt equally emboldened by Amato's confidence, as bassist Ryan Matheson and drummer Jack Houston provide a complex yet sturdy backdrop that evokes the rhythm sections of Wire and Gang of Four. Drink this EP in slowly and savor every moment. Then ask for more.