NZOA newmusic single november 18

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Reviewed by Kat Waswo

Wax Chattels: Wax Chattels

Reviewed by Kat Waswo

Wax Chattels: Wax Chattels

Unnerving, unpredictable, anxiety-inducing and yet hypnotising – Wax Chattels ’ debut album of 10 tracks is like an otherworldly smash to the face.

Self-described as producing “guitar-less guitar music”, these no-wave post-punks graduated jazz school and promptly entered the realm of progressively aggressive synth-filled monstrous tunes. The genre of noise rock hardly covers it.

The unique addition of an organ, which Peter Ruddell (keys/vocals) powers through guitar amps and effects, is a monumental feature of their sound.

Recorded in two days in an undisclosed location, the extremely tight trio fuse their colourfully upsetting distortion with Tom Leggett’s two-piece drum kit, dual vocals and Amanda Cheng’s bass. The band recorded all three instruments live, mind-blowing given that the tempo and timing for most of their songs is just outside the disaster zone.

Opening track Concrete is a rude off-beat awakening to rouse the senses. The next features the dual vocals of their debut single Stay Disappointed, which has been showing up in playlists since its release early in 2018.

The Kiwi accent combined with sarcastic tones and satire lyrics sets a rather attractive flavour. Highlights include Gillian with wallowing synth and gentle vocals – like a weird soundtrack to an obscure short film this one was inspired by the X-Files character.

Party-mosh vibes are mainly taken from Shrinkage [may occur], and In My Mouth. Signed with Flying Out in NZ and Captured Tracks from Brooklyn in the US, their darkened-upbeat music is a very loud form of poetry, designed to either move you or make you run and hide.