Wax Fang finally releases new music

Louisville’s Wax Fang has always been a killer live band, but on 2007’s La La Land (their full band debut), they showed signs that they could be equally compelling on record, too.  The album still reeked of unfulfilled promise, though, as tight, proggy psych-rock jams like “Avant Guardian Angel Dust” co-existed along side drippier moments like the painfully earnest “Oh, Recklessness.”

Wax Fang is better bombastic, when all three members lock into a groove and embrace their stadium-sized prog-rock tendencies.  That’s not something I would say for most bands, but most bands don’t have the chops and the chemistry the produce the hair-raisingly good peaks found on La La Land‘s best tracks, moments that sound even bigger live.  I want them to be epic, not introspective.  That’s why it was encouraging to find out that their first post-La La recorded material is a 17 minute space rock track called “The Astronaut (Part 1).”  It was a sign that they were embracing their strengths.

The track doesn’t disappoint, and I think it’s probably the best thing they’ve ever recorded.  The first six minutes are deliberately paced, appropriately spare psych-rock, with Carney repeating, “Can anybody hear me out there?”  It sounds expansive and paranoid – a good beginning.  The middle section is all spacey ambiance, pulled along by a steady, throbbing bass line.  Carney’s guitar meanders until it finds its way back to the song, and by the thirteen minute mark all three are pounding away again.  It gets big, and the band gets loose.  Carney shreds, drummer Kevin Ratterman works the toms hard, and some saxophone comes out of nowhere (and doesn’t that always help?).  This is exactly what I want out of a Wax Fang song.

“The Astronaut (Part 1)” is the first half of an EP scheduled for early 2011, but right now you can buy the track here for $1.99.  You can also stream it below.

Wax Fang – The Astronaut


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