If you haven’t already immersed yourself in Pulp Funk, the debut album from North Coast singer-songwriter Lax Intastic, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it now. The album is a 12-track collection of unique, genre-bending glory.
So fresh off the album’s release, we caught up with the artist behind it all for a track-by-track run-down. Take it away, Lax Intastic…
With an amazing debut album fresh under his belt, we caught up with Lax Intastic for a complete track-by-track run-down.
Alkaline is the opening song on the album. It is a fusion of rock and electronic genres. Layers of electric and acoustic guitars meld with electronic drums and a beefy, pulsing bass-line to create a funky swell of sound. The lyrics of the verses are partly inspired by a period of Alex’s life dealing with a neighbour who’d get drunk and ride his lawnmower around every time he had his mates around for a band practice, mixed with some otherworldly imagery from writing dreams down. The chorus and title of the song come from trying to date an artsy girl and wishing the words people chose were a little less “acidic” and more “Alkaline”.
Drive-Thru Love, the second track of the album is a melancholy but energetic song that tries to capture the guttural feeling of heartbreak the day it happens. The rap verses help to fit in all those words that race through your head that you only wish you knew how to put into sentences. The name “Drive-Thru Love” is a call back to memories getting fast food together late at night but also serves as an analogy for the quick and disposable type of relationship common these days. Finger-picked guitars sit on top of a droning synthesiser and filtered drums. Pitch shifts and delays on the chorus vocals turn them into an eerie refrain.
The title song of the album, Pulp Funk, is an energetic and uplifting song about not being boring and picking up a new style to live by. The song is held together by a descending riff that comes between the verses and choruses. The line in the chorus “You misspell your name like you don’t care who you are” is a direct indictment for anyone who hasn’t made the time to find themselves yet.
Calamity Lane, which opens with a similar drumbeat to Alkaline is meant to be the antithesis to the opening song. Warm, acoustic guitar enters the mix gradually as it builds up, and the bass doesn’t appear until after the first chorus. After each chorus the song steps up a notch instrumentally, peaking on the last verse. The vocals are gentle and airy, and describe a series of female characters; a mortician, a beautician, and a musician dealing with aging and death, while the chorus describes the listener walking down Calamity Lane to meet them.
Broke Another Phone
Broke Another Phone is the most lo-fi inspired song on the album. Vinyl scratches and electronic voices from a call that failed to connect are mixed in to set the scene. The song is about wrecking your phone after all the stress of communicating with people in such an abstract, unnatural way builds up to a literal breaking point, and the aftermath of cutting yourself off from the world in the middle of an argument. The line chanted in the bridge “I’ve seen miracles so I don’t have the privilege of apostasy, but it has been a while and I’m full of animosity” summarises the feeling that can lead to regretfully smashing something that constantly connects us to the outside world.
Post-war Pre-war Lifestyle
Post-war Pre-war Lifestyle is a funky song led by slap bass and reverb-soaked Stratocaster. It’s relatively minimalist in the number of tracks going on but builds up into a huge guitar solo that wraps up the song nicely. The lyrics are about a period of world peace just being a time that sits between the end of one war and the start of the next, and the lifestyle that situation creates.
Neon Fright, the second last song on the album is a completely different sound from the rest of the album. Electric guitar pushed up an octave duel with a vicious sawtooth wave synthesiser. The vocals on the track are double-tracked, with the separate low and high octaves creating a harmony that can push through the rest of the mix. The chorus builds momentum that can only be topped by the double-time bridge. The lyrics describe being the only two people alone in a city at night, where the traffic lights always stay red and all the coloured lights look good. It’s definitely a song you can dance to.
Pulp Funk is available now. Listen above.