Monday, 17 May 2010

Wax Fang - ‘La La Land’ (Don’t Panic)

When ‘Majestic’, the opening track on Wax Fang’s debut album spun through my speakers for the first time, I feared the worst I have to admit. Not that the track is dull in any way or with any lack of musical creativity, it just came across to me as a bit over dramatic and perhaps wishy-washy. However, the longer ‘La La Land’ progressed the more I grew into it.

Musically it is certainly more of an upbeat record, even if track titles such as ‘World War II (Part 2)’ and ‘Black & Endless Night Revisited’ suggest otherwise. The former almost blending in from the first track show that these guys mean business and ‘La La Land’ continues in this sort of vein on many of the tracks. We come across some magnificent guitar playing on this record. Founding member Scott Carney displays a sort of technique that may be reminiscent of Warren Ellis of The Bad Seeds and Dirty Three fame, or the orchestrated feel of Do Make Say Think. ‘Doctor Will See You Now’ and the instrumental prog rock number ‘Avant Guardian Angel Dust’ are fine examples of this. His vocal technique is interesting of which the sound kind of reminds me of David Tibet of Current 93, although I sometimes end up thinking that he should maybe focus more on his guitar playing.

As well as the upbeat tracks, the Kentucky trio provide us with a more melodic side to expand on the sounds variety. The gorgeous instrumental soundscapes of ‘At Sea’ would be fitting on a film soundtrack and again they effectively blend the track in with the next song ‘Cannibal Summer’. Another example of the slower side of Wax Fang include ‘Woh, Recklessness’ which for me gives a less stronger impact that some other tracks may do.

So a vital tip to be given when listening to a band for the very first time, and that is to never judge an act by one track, as I really did think I was going to hate this after the first song. But you know what? It’s not that bad.

Words: Freddy Rothman

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