NEW LP, Baltimore Record due out 10-1 (digital), 10-29 (vinyl).
Waxeater formed in Bloomington, IN in the summer of
2006. The initial trio consisted of Jeremy Mills (bass, vocals),
Rob Montage (guitar, vocals) and Zac Canale (drums). The band
set out to play a dissonant form of indie-punk, capable of
inducing equal parts cringing and head-nodding, with influences
including some of the expected, Jesus Lizard and Fugazi, to
some less expected Nomeansno and The Melvins, Waxeater
adds the idiosyncrasies of past hard-rock movements into
their careening roller coaster sound. James Lyter took over drum
duties in 2007, and instantly amped up Waxeater’s evolution with
his love of blistering tempos and the frequent time-changes of
some of the best in punk and hardcore. Waxeater have played
over 200 shows since 2007 and will be touring extensively
throughout the U.S. to support ‘SLEEPER’.
Man, there’s just too much damn pop culture in the world, ya know? For every fifty records a bro picks up at the local used vinyl emporium, there are another hundred that somehow stay on the periphery, just out of earshot, in I’ll-Get-to-That-Someday-Land. For every Party Down or Battlestar Galactica that a dude (hi) subjects to countless reexaminations, there are another two dozen shows that his friends scold him for never getting around to. This is basically a roundabout way of me saying that I still have never seen The Wire, which is relevant because that landmark (er, i’ve been told) HBO crime drama is the subject of a new record—a Baltimore Record, if you will—by another one of those peripheral pop-culture screams around the corner, Bloomington/Louisville Kentuckiana face-punchers WAXEATER.
WAXEATER currently reside in the same just-below-the-surface morass where cult TV shows and underground punk rock dwell, which frankly makes no damn sense because they’re loud enough to turn heads and invite uncomfortable stares (hell, their name is even shouting at ya). Aluminum guitar advocate and enemy of sleeves Rob Montage’s sawblade windmill riffs are given form and shape by Louisville’s top bottom end, bassist Elliott Turton and drum-thumper Aaron Sortman. The one-two thwack of “One Man and Two Barrels Will Never Be Enough” into “That’s Protestant Whiskey,” tracks two and three off the new disc, are a blueprint for how they do: the former’s a tornado of barely-controlled scalpels to the temple, the latter a series of body blows that would KO King Hippo.
And much like references to 1980s 8-bit video game nemeses, WAXEATER is a throwback in many ways. In a world of autotune and programming, it’s meat-and-potatoes guitar, bass and drums for these guys. And they may have a Bandcamp, but these Southern boys know that the way to get heard is to play live, so they tour. Dear god, do they tour. Is today a day that ends in “y?” Because then they’re probably in some poorly-wired shithole in the armpit of your least-favorite town, blasting the ears of equal numbers of noise-rock converts and annoyed townies. OK, maybe slightly more annoyed townies, but then, that’s the price one pays for being loud, uncompromising, and relentlessly brutal—the squares don’t get you but the converts are on board for life. Sounds kind of like how a cult TV show audience works, doesn’t it? Seems like this whole “Let’s write a whole album about The Wire” business is less nonsense and more genius.
So throw Baltimore Record down on your turntable (I said they were throwbacks, did I not?), pour a tumbler of your finest protestant whiskey, and do what the rubes vapidly consuming their Neilsen winners and Billboard charters won’t—PAY ATTENTION. Let WAXEATER caress your soundholes with that blissfully abrasive noise-rock sound that fueled Touch & Go Records for a quarter century (I really don’t wanna drop the name of That One Band, but hey, name your band after one of their songs, and you sort of invite it). Let’s make a deal—you get these guys off your “Get Around to ‘Em” list, and I’ll finally throw The Wire in my Netflix queue and give the Joss Whedon reruns a breather. Game recognize game—or so i’ve heard. – d.j. hostettler
‘SLEEPER’ is a taut, staccato blast of punk/rn’r from the Bloomington,
Indiana trio Waxeater. On their debut full-length they split the
difference between the late 70’s-early 80’s PIL/Birthday Party sound
(think Annalisa and Dead Joe filtered through the lens of ‘Master of
Reality’ era Sabbath) and the modern takes of bands like Future of
The Left and the defunct Refused, leaving room for detours into gritty
ska-like guitar rhythms or slow-groove dashboard pounding
With ‘SLEEPER’, Waxeater have merged their influences
to create a sound all their own. A driven, bone-crushing set that will
simultaneously have your head bobbing and your teeth grinding.
Waxeater is: Rob Montage (Guitar, Vocals), Elliott Turton (bass, vocals), Aaron Sortman (drums).
9-15-09 ‘Decent Riff’ – digital release
9-14-10 ‘SLEEPER’ – debut full-length cd