Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CD: Wax on Radio, "Exposition"

The start of Exposition, the new album by Wax on Radio, is great. But if you keep listening past the second track, "Time Will Bind Us To The Guilt of Commitment," the point at which Mikey Russell's voices goes from controlled to screeching, then you either really like progressive jam sessions or you've got to take the wax out of your ears. There are obvious parallels to The Mars Volta, but they don't have the instrumental chops or experimental skill of that band, and their subject material is grounded too much in depressingly stark and bare-boned lyrics. The only thing that holds it all together is Harrison Taylor's pinpoint bass; otherwise it's just a lot of distorted nonsense. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, but adding a minute of crickets chirping to the end of a song ("When in Rome...") isn't music. It's ambient blather. Wax on Radio would do far better to stick with the more acoustically sound rhythms of their first and best track, "Today I Became a Realist."

[First posted to Silent Uproar, 2/15]

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