Monday, October 31, 2022

Full Length Review: Wax Mekanix "Mobocracy (Deluxe Edition)" (Electric Talon Records) by Dave Wolff

Artist: Wax Mekanix
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Country: USA
Genre: Rock
Full length: Mobocracy (Deluxe Edition)
Format: Digital, CD
Label: Electric Talon Records (USA)
Release date: October 28, 2022
It would be an oversimplification to say Wax Mekanix is a well-rounded musician, but his work is deeper and more complex. Playing by the same set of rules while drawing from this genre today and that genre tomorrow is too easy. And it seems Wax Mekanix is aesthetically beyond this mindset.
While 80s rock bands jumped on the bandwagon of playing acoustic sets, Wax Mekanix creates something diverse to the point of schizophrenia and manages to hold it all together. I honestly hoped I wasn't going to be disappointed by another collection of generic, uninspired rock songs when this album started. I was relieved to discover this wasn’t the case with the beginning of the second track.
An expanded reissue of his album “Mobocracy”, “Mobocracy (Deluxe Edition)” is a labyrinth of 70s and 80s rock, folk, industrial, tribal, Native American, country and western, early metal, early grunge and early punk a la Iggy, Bowie and Lou Reed. As KMFDM are to industrial, Sam Astaroth is to rap metal and Bergfried are to folk metal, Wax Mekanix are to modern rock in equal quantities.
Unlike many hard rock bands of the latter half of the 1980s, they disregard the rulebook and produce something that's in no way paint-by-numbers. Every rule is thrown out the window and new standards are established where anything can enhance his core style.
Depending on the song, the lead vocals and production are as flexible as the musicianship, and even the mellowest compositions are given a harder edge, taking them beyond the accessibility constraints artists had to keep in mind. Native American and tribal influences are prevalent to various levels, giving the material a massive boost of heaviness. A sense of foreboding is present in the atmosphere that is unusual for a hard rock album and thus refreshing.
Due to the risks Wax Mekanix takes, I expect more people will become familiar with him. –Dave Wolff

Wax Mekanix: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, drums, percussion (tracks 1-6)
Lectriq: Backing vocals, percussion (tracks 1-6)
Brandon Yeagley: Backing vocals (tracks 1-6)
Chris Bishop: Electric and acoustic guitars (tracks 2, 3, 6)
Tom Altman: Guitar, bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5)
Wendell PoPs Sewell: Guitar, bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5)
John Hazel: Guitar, bass (track 4)
Raje Shwari: Backing vocals (track 3)
M11SON: Backing vocals (track 2)
Tommy Conwell: Backing vocals (track 2)
Nataliya Odud: Backing vocals (track 2)
Eli Goldman: Backing Vocals (track 2)

Track list:
1. Blood in My Eyes
2. Victorious
3. All Freaks
4. Mad World
5. Ghostland
6. Black
7. Head
8. Manchester Strawberry Blonde
9. Freak Boutique
10. All Freaks (Acoustic Demo)
11. Black (Blue Oak Mix)
12. Bloodshed (Electric Demo)
13. Mad World (Zeuss Mix)
14. Victorious (Acoustic Demo)
15. Bloodshed (Acoustic Demo)
16. Victorious (Radio Version)

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