Do you know the painting that you see on some greeting cards where all of the animals are sitting together, stoic and proud in the forest, and there in the background, rising in the sky, it's the earth? You have to ask “why aren't the animals trying to fight and eat each other? They are fucking enemies!” and “why is the earth rising into the sky? If the earth is in the sky, then where the fuck are we?” That shit is Wax Mannequin. Kind of lame… but so important and gripping.
Wax Mannequin has been here for something like one hundred centuries, but right now, Wax Mannequin is the only knife-face. He is the fighter. He is roses out of his skin that bleed him as he pulls. But most important, he is music of the biggest fight style. It’s where you punch and slice your own dying stuff into fresh, ripe meats for selling and sharing. It’s where you give everything you had for an instant in his arms. Because he can seriously change the way you feel inside.
Wax Mannequin is on his fourth record. The first two were quiet bedroom recordings featuring eerie computer melodies and other noises. With his third – the Price – Wax brought powerful rock abilities into the studio. It’s a record of supreme catchiness and ridiculous aggression. It is performed with great focus and sincerity. The songs sound like jokes at first, but they are serious. It’s kind of an extreme form of joke that pushes through funny and becomes serious all over again – but serious in a loud, dizzy, pukey way. The dizziness and sincerity communicate the complexities of being a human in interesting times – the insecurity, the doubt, the triumph and the wisdom gained through experience.
Wax Mannequin’s fourth disc – Orchard and Ire – is being released now on Infinite Heat. This record does many of the same things as The Price, but this time, as you listen, the music places the white hot sun in your spine. Heavy, dramatic, melody-driven songs like ‘Everything Proper' and ‘Animals Jump' counter pose surreally subdued tunes like ‘Almost Everyone' and ‘Animals Come Home'. Lyrical themes interweave: the absurd becomes profound and the funny becomes sad as the careful listener is drawn deeper into the ridiculous yet strangely logical mythology that Wax has been weaving since he began.
He has been touring back and forth in Canada for the past five years. He also brought his shit to Australia. In the beginning he played his classical guitar and gave people cards where they collected points and “super powers” for coming to his shows. But, disturbed by the cultish success of his “system", Wax stripped down the shenanigans, and upped the supreme power by adding heavy machines and an angry electric guitar. Now the roses come out of his skin when he gets excited. They are a problem, and he throws them at the audience, but it hurts and they keep coming back.
If you can deal with that, Wax Mannequin will change your life. If not, you get to eat a blade.
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