WAX FANG – The Astronaut

astronautFollowing a release of a handful of digital onIy singles released throughout 2013, Wax Fang pull out all the stops on this full-length offering – five tracks, forty-plus minutes and the disastrous tale of “an astronaut separated from his craft and swallowed by a black hole”.  In the hands of some, a concept album can be fabulous, in others, it’s the worst kind of self-indulgence not far from career suicide.  Thankfully, for Wax Fang, ‘The Astronaut’ and its grand scale works well, the directness of parts of their music overshadowing most of the potential for grandiose meandering. This sprawling opus has one main aim: to grab the listener and sonically melt them with the push and pull between hard rock grooves and sonic  textres.   Various influences drift in and out – from Hawkwind, Muse, tiny nods to Mars Volta, ambient, Krautrock and touches of stoner – though none ever quite take a dominant hold, meaning Wax Fang’s odd menagerie of noise-making isn’t always too predictable.

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