Forgotten Album of the Month: Wax
Wax were one of the most underrated punk bands of the nineties. Even though they really only became known after signing to Interscope in the wake of Green Day’s success and had one hit that still lingers to this day in “California,” they ended up releasing one of the best post-punk records of the decade: 13 Unlucky Numbers.
Kicking off with the fiery blast of “Who is Next,” frontman Joe Sib, guitarist Soda, bassist Birdie Cutlass and drummer Loomis play no-frills, fast as shit punk with tons of attitude, really catchy choruses and hook-ridden music. Songs like “In Spite of Me” and “Stop Sign” are pretty much one in the same except for the use of horns, which are buried in the mix, but it doesn’t matter because they’re still great songs. The hit, “California,” which is best known for the video which features slow-motion footage of a man running down the street on fire, is still good but is one of the more lackluster tracks on the record, just because it seems like it was made for the radio where the rest of the record isn’t.
Then out of leftfield comes two gigantic shockers; the first song “Jiffy Boy,” is totally acoustic, less than two minutes long and completely spacey but it’s just a warm-up for the final song. “Knot” is totally acoustic, sung and played by Loomis is one of the trippiest things ever on CD. The song’s meaning is obscured by the song’s strangeness. Needless to say, the album is completely amazing and deserves to be remembered by more than ‘90s punk kids.
The band broke up amidst infighting in 1996 and reunited to play some shows in 2009. They each moved on to different musical projects and Joe Sib is one of the co-founders of Side 1 Dummy Records while Loomis appeared for a time on “Jackass.” But the band’s legacy will live on and the record will continue to be found by people who will then spread it on. BTW: The 13 in the title is a joke; the last three songs are six seconds of silence, which makes the album’s running time at 21 minutes, one of the shortest ‘full-length’ records of all time.
http://www.singingfool.com/Title.aspx?publishedid=242738 (Who is Next?)