The Wagner logic
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The Wagner logic


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""Easiest To Grab" AbsolutePunk Album Review"

Though they list their style as "shoegaze" and "basementia," the music most closely resembles jangly, indie pop. Sure, it's quirky and peculiar in spots, but this is an indie band after all. Opening song and title track “Easiest to Grab,” is a bit squeamish in its lyrics as it details a yarn about sex that’s both uncomfortable and yet also incredibly catchy. On the laid-back number “Arizona,” where lead singer sings, “I’m going to Arizona. Tempe, Arizona to be exact / Where babes are like bees on my honeycomb / Gonna fill my car with water balloons.” For those unaware of the subtlety, the water balloons he is referring to, are in fact, condoms. And that simple fact sums up the lyrical territory of The Wagner Logic. No, not all the songs are about sex, but quite a few are, and it’s all a bit sophomoric and corny.

Musically though, The Wagner Logic are as good as it gets. The aforementioned “Arizona” moves beyond its slacker start and takes off in the next 40 seconds, turning the song turns on its head and culminating in a gorgeous song with a great chorus that would make College Music Journal slobber. The band’s skill are in its guitarists James Glaves and Jeremy Wagner who weave together inspired riffs that are angular, resilient and antic. Second song “Ambulance” is their most accessible and floats into early Modest Mouse territory. “The Bird Song” finds the group in brit-rock mode, as atmospheric guitars and a slight "shoegaze" bent brings this song home. The opposite of that is “So Hard”, which displays a subdued indie-pop side that is bolstered by a chiming keys-inspired melody. Like most of the songs on the release, it’s over before the three-minute mark. Opening track “Easiest to Grab” doesn’t even clock in past two minutes. On closing track “What Began to Splinter” the band once again displays the atmospheric guitars and the ambient, trance-like movements, leaving the listener yearning for more and anticipating the next release.

Formed in a laundromat in Kasiloff, Alaska in 1999, the quartet boasts a heavy dose of confidence, polish, and sterling musicianship. It's apparent the band has spent a good bit of time putting this release together, and the time and dedication shows. There are few, if any, missteps and the end result is something that’s affecting and memorable. In just nine songs, The Wagner Logic cement their status as a band on the rise.

Track Listing01. Easiest to Grab *
02. Ambulance
03. Conflicting Sound
04. Up a River
05. Arizona *
06. Scratch Out Throats
07. The Bird Song *
08. So Hard
09. What Began to Splinter

* - recommended tracks

Recommended if You Likeearly Modest Mouse, The Shins, lyrics about sex - Absolute Punk

"Kasilof-grown band Wagner Logic starts to get attention"

A couple months ago mentions of a band called the Wagner Logic popped up in my in box courtesy of Google Alerts. One was a story in the Denton Record Chronicle about a band from Kasilof playing in Texas. At first it seemed like an instance where one of the musicians lived in Alaska at some point and just included the factoid in the band bio for novelty.

It turns out the band, composed of Jeremy Wagner and James Glaves, still lives in Kasilof and was in the midst of a DIY tour some 4,000 miles away.

Google Alerts pulled up another short piece in the Amarillo Globe-News, so they were getting press along the way. When I sent them an e-mail to find out how the tour was going they had run into vehicle trouble, which led to financial trouble and ultimately forced them to cancel the last eight shows on their schedule.

This wasn't the band's first Lower 48 tour, either. Three years ago they flew down and rented equipment, which is too expensive for an unsigned band from Kasilof to make a regular habit of doing. This time they drove through Canada.

"Both ended up being expensive," Wagner said in an e-mail. "I think the best thing for a band to do is to buy a van in the Lower 48 and keep it down there."

Wagner and Glaves -- who have lived in Kasilof for 20 years, save for a stint in Northern California -- formed the Wagner Logic as a recording project 10 years ago and have been performing live for the past five.As a live unit, they're joined by Kenai resident Sonny Ogle, who rotates between drums, bass and guitar. "Mostly we play shows up in Anchorage with some really cool Anchorage bands: Smile Ease, Shy Bones and Pretty Birds That Kill, to name a few," Wagner wrote. "In the summer we usually do little tours around the state. There really aren't many places to play original music in Kasilof yet."

Their home base has given them plenty of time to refine their chops, though.

"The cold darkness of the winter makes it easy to concentrate on honing your craft, and the non-stop energy of the summer is great for creativity," Wagner noted.

Located about 15 miles south of Soldotna on the Sterling Highway, Kasilof has a population of around 500 people. For an Outsider with nothing more to go by than a Wagner Logic record, it could just as easily be Brooklyn.

In June the band released a self-titled album that's available on iTunes, eMusic and Amazon or directly from the group on their Bandcamp website, where you can stream the entire album and download a digital copy at a price of your choosing.

The 14 tracks run through a diverse range of influences, a lot of which Wagner said they were exposed to during their time in California.

There's a shoe-gazing feel to most of the album. Quirky keyboard parts and angular guitars weave in and out, sporting plenty of lo-fi, basement-pop sensibilities. The production is warm and clear, while the vocals drift through the middle of the mix.

The focus on layers and textures sacrifices hooks, which will probably strike some as being aloof or detached.

The band makes a few attempts to break out of that: "This Number Isn't the One" opens forcefully and "You Had a Right To Be" flirts with an upbeat swing, but each time the band lays off the accelerator and settles back in its comfort zone.

The album is better engaged by swimming in it than dancing to it.

"Alaska is a great place to write and make music, and its music scene just keeps growing," Wagner wrote, but he could see his band relocating at some point in order to pursue a heavier touring regimen.

There are several examples proving that plan's viability, be it recent success by 36 Crazyfists, Portugal. The Man or the Builders and the Butchers.

Also proven by those examples is the idea that having Alaska in your band's bio piques people's interest. The Wagner Logic has that going for them already: "It is one of the best icebreakers you could have out on the road."

They also have an album that should go a long way toward holding people's attention.

- Anchorage Daily News

"FensePost » THE Indie Music Blog » The Wagner Logic: Yesterday Evening"

The Wagner Logic’s second single from their self-titled sophomore LP is the sort of song that makes you want to move to the mountains and write songs about the outside world that you don’t have to see. “Yesterday Evening” is the sort of track that leaves you enlightened and disturbed at the same time. The delicate acoustic strumming and finely-tuned keyboard instrumentals set the mood as a story of a small gathering and the terrible outcome of something so simple. It’s strange to think that these Alaskan natives are, in comparative standards, stranded in the middle of a land that few can even comprehend, yet they have a wonderful grasp on reality and its ever cumbersome and illiterate translations of happiness. This is a band that should be watched continuously and heard with unfiltered ears.

Listen to The Wagner Logic, and download a few free tracks, on the bands page. -

"Song Of The Day "Waiting For Snow""

By CHARTattack Staff (CHARTattack) October 27, 2010 12:46 pm
The Wagner Logic
The Wagner Logic's "Waiting For Snow"
Don't think Alaska is all Sarah Palins and Levi Johnstons. Here's a tune from Kasilof, Alaska's The Wagner Logic.
The song's full of loud, squealing guitars and dreamy vocals that obviously recall the shoegaze of British bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain. But there's a bit of all-American punk rock in some of the riffs, too, which, hilariously enough, sound like they could be played by Sleater-Kinney. As for the quieter acoustic parts, they just make the tune into another beast entirely.
"Waiting For Snow" appears on The Wagner Logic's self-titled sophomore album, which is out now.

"2nd Self Titled Album Review AbsolutePunk"

First things first. Why in the world Alaskan band The Wagner Logic chose to release a15-song sophomore disc remains to be seen, but if the adage quality over quantity still holds true, then the frigorific foursome have indeed crafted something worth coming back to. Though there are some warts, there's enough precision, passion and polish to win over the most cynical of critics. This one included.

The disc's opening one-two tandem, "Waiting for Snow," and "The Drugs and You," set the tone right away. The former features a drug-induced haze and scissored guitars that sound definitively Mancurian.. In the very first seconds, there's a palpable sense of maturity and sophistication that trumps the band's previous effort Easiest To Grab by a wide margin.

The duo hits their most comfortable stride on "Years From Now" a whimsical, off-kilter slice of college-rock that possesses a jittery, raw energy that hasn't been chased down on previous releases. Vocalist James Glaves' yelps and guttural screams are married with Jeremy Wagner's feathery vocals to create a quirky and buoyant composition.

After a 68-second guitar interlude, Glaves and Wagner return with "Faded Slackers," which marks the album's first true disappointment. Though the song's emotive conclusion is a high mark, the rest of it just feels askew. It's not as if the song isn't well-executed or creative, it just doesn't have the staying power of the earlier three. "This Number Isn't the One," follows and offers more of the same. Good composition, but no staying power. Come on boys, cut the filler.

Thankfully, the quieter "All in Good Time," follows and allows the duo to show off their introspective and vulnerable side. That it's also one of the album's true peaks is no coincidence. The duo is certainly gifted and has a firm grasp on their talents, but some times less is more and the restraint felt here is a true testament to this band's potency. "Do You Think It's Your Leg?," follows the same formula as the earlier exercises but feels weighted down and borderline boring here. "Little Motel," another breathable exercise returns to the restraint of "All in Good Time," but chases down something a bit quirkier.

The filler track "Oh Please, Oh Geeze," follows and it's at this point, that the entire listening experience feels like a chore. "Sick Sylvia," is a groove-based jam with cooing vocals and a sexiness that is both urgent and inspired. The entire exercise though revisits the question as to why a song like this hadn't been inserted earlier in the track listing. After another hiccup, the messy "You Had a Right To Be," the band finds success in the languorous "Late in the Day, " featuring slow-churning vocals, layers of gauziness and airy female harmonies; and the funereal "Yesterday Evening."

Though the disc definitely lacks consistency, there's still something undeniably appealing about the effort. While it is certainly long-winded and a bit foolhardy in places, The Wagner Logic still remain one of Alaska's most original, most refreshing and most noteworthy bands. Long live Seward's Folly.

Track Listing 1. Waiting for Snow
2. The Drugs and You
3. Years From Now
4. Interlude
5. Faded Slackers
6. The Number Isn't The One
7. All in Good TIme
8. Do You Think It's Your Leg
9. Little Motel
10. Oh Please Oh Geeze
11. Sick Sylvia
12. You Had a Right To Be
13. Late in the Day
14. Yesterday Evening

Recommended If You Like Pavement, Portugal the Man, Minus the Bear, The Morakestra -

"Charlie Obscure"

"The Wagner Logic definitely has its own sound. They hail from Kasilof, and are on the Alaska label Wilderhood Records. These youngins' know how to utilize time in a small town by finding an original sound, which is quite unforgettable but hard to describe." - Anchorage Press

"Politics, Music, and Beer"

The crew threw their unofficial one-year anniversary party on Friday. There was disagreement between I-49 co-founders Aaron Selbig and Nova Stubbs on when the gatherings actually started, but the consensus was that it was about a year ago when they began the tradition of mixing politics with local music in their downtown apartment. Selbig and Stubbs got the idea when their Insurgent 49 paper came to an end.

“When the paper folded, we wanted to keep the progressive community together, and the shows were just a way to keep Insurgent 49 going in some way,” said Stubbs.

The I-49 parties are held every third Friday. A $10 cover charge will get you in the door, as well as a plastic cup to help yourself to as much keg beer as you can drink. The proceeds of each show goes to a different charity each month. Last week's donations went to the Vietnam Friendship Village, an organization in Hanoi, Vietnam that treats victims of Agent Orange.

Friday's gathering included performances from Parker Longbough and Kasilof-based The Wagner Logic. Both are on the local label Wilderhood Records.

The evening was a steady blend of political commentary and rock. Longbough (a.k.a. Matt Witthoeft on guitar and vocals, backed by Ross Lescko on bass and Patrick McLaughlin on drums) ranted a little between each song, including a segment about Mark Foley.

“Do you think we should really be worrying about whether or not Mark Foley is gay? Or do you think that we should be worrying whether or not he's a fucking pedophile?” Witthoeft asked.

The Wagner Logic stuck more to the music, playing a solid set of its unique blend of indie rock and avant garde punk. The young five-piece definitely stands out as one of Alaska's more original bands.

The I-49 show maxed out at around 60 people once midnight hit. According to the regulars, it was relatively smaller turnout than usual. Insurgent 49 can be checked out at

- Dave Waldron - Anchorage Press

"Mean Street Easiest to Grab Review"


VOL 18.06

Easiest To Grab

Alaskan act The Wagner Logic opted for a fitting title for their new album, Easiest To Grab. There are enough hooky, Beatles-esque arrangements and stream-of-consciousness whimsy to immediately grab the attention of the Pavement crowd and indie-rock badge-wearers. “Ambulance” showcases the band’s ability to channel Byrds-like tones while “Arizona” conjures up catchy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics to good effect. As lo-fi as a tape deck yet as cool as a tundra, The Wagner Logic’s Easiest to Grab provides a rational new twist to the indie rock fiefdom.

Grade: B


"BurnSideWritersCollective Review"

The Wagner Logic
Easiest To Grab
Wilderhood Records

I’ve been reviewing records for about 15 months now and doing so with increasing regularity. Due my diverse musical preferences, my editors have seen fit to pass along a motley assortment of material, knowing that I’m inclined to give just about everything a fair shake - from hardcore and emo to all fashions of folk and pop. Yet, with an equally increasing frequency, I seem to run out of opportunities to throw on a new record and simply exclaim, “I really like this record! I’m not sure why, but I enjoy this music and I want to geek out about it!” I spend so much time critically examining music and constructing objective reviews for readers who might not possess my tastes and proclivities that I forget what I personally love about music. Writing for four different magazines and working 40 hours a week between two jobs will do that do a guy.

Thankfully, every once in awhile, I’m sent a record that I look forward to playing in my car and at my house even after the review has been written and submitted to my editors. These records come from a variety of sounds, styles, and descriptions, but their singular commonality is that they are all just a bit off. As in, these groups aren’t intentionally weird and quirky just to be weird and quirky, but they’re all a bit left-of-center, while still maintaining the ability to be appreciated by my friends who don’t typically enjoy some of my stranger musical preferences. Whether it’s a group’s pop sensibilities, danceable qualities, or rock grooves, they seem find a way to appeal to average music fans as well as indie rock dorks.

And with the release of Easiest To Grab, The Wagner Logic have made such a record. Hailing from Alaska, these four gentlemen woven together syncopated rhythms and strong voices with an endearingly bizarre lyrical style that their PR material refers to as “Basementia.” While I’m not quite sure what such a word really means, I am enamored with lines like “I’m going to Arizona. Tempe Arizona to be exact. Gonna fill my car with water balloons.” (“Arizona”) or “Look out the car window. There’s no help beside the road. Drive your fastest. Avoid all glances.” (“What Begins To Splinter”). There’s a blissful whimsy to their stream-of-consciousness standing counter to some of the themes being addressed in their songs that I find so damn attractive and catchy.

Sadly, with only 9 songs covering less than 30 minutes, this album is much too short for its own good. Couple the brevity with a couple of lackluster songs (“The Bird Song” and “So Hard”) that don’t quite stand up next to the quality of the others and we’re left with fleeting expectations of what could have been. Granted, the stellar performances on this album encourage the listener to demand more great music from The Wagner Logic, but it’s hard not to be slightly disappointed that there’s not more here. Nevertheless, all issues with length aside, Easiest To Grab is rather terrific rock record, one that makes me glad that I get to review music on a day-to-day basis. -

"FensePost "Easiest to Grab" review"

Bedroom pop is most often the softest of music—lyrics are sometimes whispered, keys and accompanying instruments are melodic and slightly minimal. Basement pop takes the elements found in bedroom up a notch. The sounds maintain their subtle and soothing nature; they’ve outgrown the comfort and confined space of a bedroom but haven’t quite been pushed into the garage. The Wagner Logic find themselves in the basement pop realm, adding in just enough insanity for their music to be dubbed basementia, or a mix of basement pop with demenia. It’s an odd combination that blends the sweetness of indie pop with wild lyrics.
Title track “Easiest To Grab” is a prime example; the song descriptively discusses sex and pain (and suggests a fetish-like combination of the two). When not nodding to one of the catchiest verses of the year, the listener struggles with the lyrics—is the song reminiscing about the great kinky sex of a lost relationship? There’s something interesting going on there and you just can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but damn it makes a great song! “Ambulance” follows with a similar head-nodding beat. The Wagner Logic’s vocals are harmonic and plentiful with the entire band singing throughout Easiest To Grab. The music is key-heavy with melodic, sometimes drone-y guitars. “Arizona” adds some light screams, though the majority of the song fits their standard pop sound.

The Wagner Logic’s style of songwriting is vastly unique. They veer from the standard verse-chorus-verse style songwriting. Instead, there is simply music and lyrics more often than not. And it seems to work pretty well as the band maintains cohesiveness, putting together songs that fit together nicely. “The Bird Song” finds the group in their most subdued—the song is almost atmospheric and the guitars somewhat shoegaze-y. “So Hard”, on the contrary, shows a lighter indie-pop side of The Wagner Logic, featuring a chiming key melody.

While The Wagner Logic opens their debut with their most catchy and rewarding track, Easiest To Grab portrays a band defining their sound. And they’ve had time to create their unique sound, as the group formed in 1999. Concluding with “What Began To Splinter” brings the elements found throughout Easiest To Grab all back home—the shoegaze guitar parts, the slightly insane lyrics, the intricately compounded lyrics—to conclude the album on yet another high point. The only question that remains is whether or not we’ll be required to wait seven more years for a follow up. -

"Slug Magazine Review"

Slug magazine ang mean street zine
Current mood: cynical
Category: Music
This a new review From Slug Magazine out of Salt lake city.
Get it at
It goes like this........
Wagner Logic
Easiest to Grab
Wilderhood Records
Street 12.04
Wagner Logic = Pavement + Pixies
Thank God the genre "indie rock" is still acceptable for random music so I have a way to describe Wagner Logic. More descriptively: "Basementia," as this Alaskan quartet have dubbed themselves. Which does not make them lovesick emo-pop boys. Easiest to Grab is more adult and bleak than that image. More bleak from realities and tragedies like Guantanamo—visuals of the title track. Or maybe "Basementia" is more literal. Hey, it gets cold far north and guys have to entertain themselves in some way. Like starting a rock n' roll band with stronger harmonies than melodies (except on spacier, slower track The Bird Song). They all share vocal duties; keeping them minimal and lyrics interestingly sparse, like on my favorite song, "Arizona," a violent water-balloon road-trip. I don't know if Wagner Logic have sounded like The Pixies since they started playing in 1999, but they're great now. –Jennifer Nielsen


"Urb Magazine Feature"

Rarely is Alaska acknowledged as a unit of the United States. Known more for perhaps the eskimo and the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, The Wagner Logic is pumping more music out than the state's oil pipelines. Seemingly coming out of Alaska's woodwork in 2000, the band's latest entry Easiest to Grab is what the title implies — it's got enough catchy riffs and hooks that'll grab the attention of indie rock heads alike. There's nothing in their music that signifies an "Alaskan" sound (like there was one to begin with), its just good music with that mass appea -

"Paste Punk"

Posted by Corey Schmidt / December 17, 2007
Although they hail from Alaska, THE WAGNER LOGIC's music is anything but cold. The band finds a neat niche embedded somewhere within the indie rock genre, yet immediate comparisons to other bands are elusive. Think a mixture of warm and jagged guitars, passionately haunting vocals, and songs that give you a sense of isolation. The group released their latest full-length titled Easiest To Grab earlier this month, and while they do not currently have any touring plans outside of their home state, things should be on the up and out for them in the future. -

"Pop Syndicate"

Review by George T
Score 4.5 out of 5
After starting out in an abandoned laundromat in Kasilof, AK, The Wagner Logic broke into the indie rock scene in 2000 with their debut EP, "The Summer Tapes." The band's latest album, "Easiest to Grab," weaves James Glaves and Jeremy Wagner's hooks with of instrumentation to pump out some inspired music. With tracks like "Ambulance," and "Conflicting Sound", the music of The Wagner Logic should appeal to indie rock and non-indie rock fans alike.
Granted, they have a good sound together, the four of them, almost as if they were the Beatles trying real hard to make it through a "Hard Day's Night," but they aren't the Beatles. Pardon the pun, but no one will ever BE the Beatles. They have dubbed their indie rock CD as "Basementia." A little note on their CD album says their publicist is waiting for people to email her so she can give them the definition of the word, but I have a good idea what they mean by it, don't you? Do it at
The music is not for the squeamish. By that, I mean the CD needs a rating of some sort. This CD actually contained a program copy of the lyrics, so I was not stunned when I saw the words in print before I heard them sung. The rating needs to be either MA for Mature Audiences or XL for Extreme Language. Then, who decides what needs to be censored?
These boys must have had a stomping good time while recording the nine songs on the CD. I can see them rocking up a storm in some damp basement in Alaska while shrimp boats go by and gulls hover overhead waiting for scraps to fall in the water. The acoustics are perfect and the songs actually fade out instead of just ending. Each track ends quietly and there are no carryovers into the next track or echoes as are sometimes heard in other albums that are not of this high quality of recording.
All songs were written and performed by Jeremy Wagner and James Glaves with the exception of "Ambulance," co-written by Andy Tholberg, Wagner and Glaves. If you can get past the raucous adventurousness of these guys, then enjoy the music and have the liner notes available so you can read the words. That way, they may just make sense to you. The notes helped me. -


Easiest To Grab released Feb. 2008
Self Titled 2nd Album Sept. 2010



Melodic, psychedelic, and inventive lo-fi guitars blend with whispery, multi-layered vocals, and sensible pop melodies on The Wagner Logic, the self-titled sophomore follow-up to The Wagner Logic’s 2007 debut release Easiest To Grab. Self-produced in the dark basement of a small cabin located in a quiet fishing town called Kasilof in Alaska, the songs on The Wagner Logic offer dark and dysfunctional tales of heartache, regret, and loss. Originally formed in 2000 as a four-track recording project between childhood friends James Glaves and band namesake Jeremy Wagner, this basement duo will release its latest album on September 14th, 2010 to be followed by a US tour.