The 70’s had its revolving disco balls and hair metal while the 90’s experienced its dive into alternative rock and the infamous grunge fever. By the time we had reached the 2000’s music culture was at a pinnacle point, the start of another generation. It was clear directions was split, just about every genre under the sun had its share, with the dominant genre in the charts changing with the weather.
Unquestionably one of the definite standouts remained with the rebirth of electrifying blues-rock with bands such as The White Stripes, John Spencer Blues Explosion, and The Black Keys. Over the years the sound has definitely stretched itself out, with notable acts such as Gary Clark Jr, Radio Moscow, Wolfmother and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Brisbane’s four-piece WAAX have been blowing up in a big way recently, seemingly out of the blue. They’ve embarked on an Aussie tour, even playing events such as the Maroochy Music Festival, BIGSOUND and Red Deer Festival, and are set to play Valley Fiesta later this month. Needless to say WAAX have been pretty busy recently almost instantly raging from 0 to 100.
How good is WAAX’s debut EP Holy Sick? Blistering riffs and insane vocals, it’s so punk rock it’s more pure than any angel puke.
WAAX have just released their debut EP Holy Sick. They have undoubtedly hit the ground running here, bearing a very true and distinct breed of rock n roll. It really feels as though WAAX know where they’re coming from and the ideas they are trying to perpetuate through their music. Without a doubt they have absolutely nailed the balls-grabbing, face to the wall blues-rock sound. Everything from the pounding drumbeats and the THICK creamy guitar licks, right to the madly impressive hostile vocal performance.
Holy Sick kicks off with the track I for an Eye, a song of frustration and confrontation. Right from the get-go WAAX comes out blasting with those gorgeously intense vocals, and a blaring instrumental showcase. Impressive. I can’t further stress how impressive Maz De Vita’s vocals are here; it’s as though we’ve found our very own Aussie Alison Mosshart…. really I can’t get that resemblance out of my head.
Wisdom Teeth was my first taste of WAAX a few months back now, and my initial impression was that these guys knew how to kick it. Really that’s an understatement; this song is pure energy and electrifying in every way. It’s as if those first strikes of the guitar possess your soul till there’s nothing left to do but move to the beat. It’s very Dead Weather if you ask me. Holy Sick is merely a four track EP, so it’s pretty short. However WAAX still managed to capture a fair bit of diversity in their soundscape here.
CC Thugs was one of the tracks that showcases this impeccably, delivering a softer and calmer approach to songwriting. CC Thugs is a beautify textured, melancholy journey through blue experiences exposing vulnerability and heartache.
While WAAX may seem perfect from every angle, I still have my personal petite beef with the group. I feel as though WAAX still aren’t diverse enough in the sound they are pushing. There’s a feeling they are still somewhat restricting themselves; the polished catchy breed of hard riffs, intense vocals, and blaring rock n roll has been done time and time again. No matter how hard these guys pushed they still remained polished and somewhat predictable. Experimentation and broken boundaries is what WAAX need more of; they should really should delve deep and tap into the rawness underneath all this polish.
Overall Holy Sick sees WAAX dish up a solid project, ticking all the boxes as far as a catchy rock n roll banger goes. How they put a twist on this in the future without sounding dated will be interesting. Make sure you give Holy Sick some ear time, and even better check these guys out live as they embark on a bunch of upcoming shows.
Friday December 4 – Workers Club, Melbourne
Saturday December 5 – Ed Castle, Adelaide
Thursday December 10 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday December 11 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Saturday December 12 – Festival of the Sun, Coffs Harbour