New Columbus band off to a strong start

Guitarist Vince Smigiel moved back to Columbus from San Francisco in the fall of 2016, and earlier this year he and friends Bo Walker (guitar) and Scott Hagelgans (drums, vocals) began jamming with no agenda other than writing stuff that sounded cool.

Though the origin story may seem inauspicious, the resulting songs from the garage-rock band, dubbed Wharm, are full of promise, as evidenced by a just-released, six-song tape on Winston Hightower's Cleveland label, the Fah-Q Catalog. The hooks, fuzz-box guitars and falling-down-a-well vocals play like a Midwestern Psychocandy.

Maybe Wharm is a good case study for local bands. So often local acts worry about their audience, or which format is best for releasing their music, or how often they should play in town or out of town, and so on. Keep it simple: Get together with some friends. Write some stuff that sounds cool.

Wharm will play at the Big Room Bar on Thursday, Dec. 14, for CD102.5's Frontstage Live, followed by a show with HYTWR and Future Nuns at Cafe Bourbon St. the next day. (Safe bet)