Wax Mekanix – Mobocracy

Mobocracy Album Cover Art

Wax Mekanix – Mobocracy
Electric Talon Records
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 26:59
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

“Who the fuck is Wax Mekanix?” You may well ask. Who is this enigmatic troubadour, this mysterious master musician, who has concocted this art for us to absorb? Well, I’m not sure I can answer those questions, but I have done some research. A bit late, I know, as this album was first released back in November. But hey, I can’t be cutting edge all of the time. Sometimes a scribe such as I must admit that changes of seismic consequence occur without my usual omniscient vision. Hard to believe, I know.

And yet here we are. Six tracks of exploration and wonder that plough a beguiling path through musical genres, from classic hard rock to folky musings, with an added sprinkle of the unexpected and alternative.

If you want big full-on metal with groove, you’ll find it with ‘Blood In My Eyes’. Huge chants and choruses? Try the gladiatorial detonation of ‘Victorious’, where you’ll also witness Brandon Yeagley and Chris Bishop of the very awesome Crobot playing the funky, infectious riffs that they’re famed for.

Wax himself is something of a renaissance man: writing, singing and playing on all tracks. Possessing a voice that can change from a warm country croon to a caramel Maynard James Keenan earnestness to a classic Alice Cooper roar, Wax morphs easily from one to another. He’s like Mike Patton with a folk fixation, but dressed even more dapper.

‘Mad World’ is one of my favourite tracks here, starting off with some Mexican guitars before erupting in a NWOBHM stampede that also recalls The Crüe at their pop metal best.

The absolute highlight, though, is the final track ‘Black’. This song is all eerie acoustic guitar and minimal percussion, with a catchy melody that creates something hypnotic and other worldly. Despite also reminding me of Johnny Nice Painter form the Fast Show (do a Google) on the chorus, this song exudes atmosphere.

Although this album is a little short, there’s plenty to investigate. Listeners will be rewarded with additional revelations each time they delve into it.

When I first heard “Mobocracy”, I rated it as good. After a couple of listens, I’ve upgraded it to GREAT. A welcome amalgamation of styles and influences, as well as exemplary song writing and musicianship, don’t let the endeavours of Wax Mekanix pass you by. Who is Wax Mekanix? The real question should be: “What’s next?”

Speaking of wax, did I ever tell you about that time when Ozzy and I decided to do a séance with some candles he pilfered from some hippies? That did not end well. There’s a little B&B in Carlisle that still has scorch marks up the walls. Tony was not impressed in the slightest. And I still have a phobia of barbecues to this day.

‘Black’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Blood In My Eyes
02. Victorious
03. All Freaks
04. Mad World
05. Ghostland
06. Black

LINE-UP
Wax Mekanix – Lead and Backing vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Drums, Percussion (Tracks 1-6)
Lectriq – Backing vocals, Percussion (Tracks 1-6)
Brandon Yeagley – Backing vocals (Tracks 1-6)
Chris Bishop – Electric & 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)

LINKS:

Wax Mekanix Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with WAX MEKANIX

EMQ’s with WAX MEKANIX

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Multi-instrumentalist, Songwriter, Producer, founding member of cult rockers Nitro and Solo Artist, Wax Mekanix. Huge thanks to Wax for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about your history?

I’m Wax Mekanix and I’m a shameless songwriter, singer, guitarist, drummer, and percussionist.

I’m a founding member of American cult rock quartet, Nitro. Not the LA glam Nitro that graced the MTV airwaves in the late 80’s. Dana, John, Brad, and I formed Nitro in 1980 and were part of the US’s answer to the NWOBHM. I’ve got more than a few years of writing, recording, and gigging under my belt. When I step outside of Nitro for musical fun, I don’t have a static line-up to my band, so it depends on what/where I’m playing. There are so many inspiring, creative people in the world to discover, so this is the appeal of flying solo in the way that I do it.

How did you come up with your band name?

My nom de plume of Waxim Ulysses Mekanix seemed a bit long, so I shortened it to Wax. I’m part of a long tradition that’s been expertly executed by Elton John, Clark Kent, Jay-Z, Freddie Mercury, Snoop Dogg, David Bowie, Gene Simmons, Bruce Wayne, and Ringo Starr.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m a proud 7th generation American. Born in a typical small town in central Pennsylvania. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled the world, so I feel comfortable wherever I am. I now call Philadelphia home. Like any large city, the music scene in Philly is diverse and fertile. The musicians are world-class talented, tough, proud, tenacious, and brave.

The rock scene in and around Philadelphia is robust and strong. It offers a tasty buffet of varying heavy styles and line-ups that reflect the depth and breadth of the areas musical history and influences. There are plenty of clubs, studios, engineers, producers, and musicians available to help creative people like me make original music. Just about all of those seem to be constantly shedding creative skin, evolving in some way, so it’s a healthy place to be for someone like me.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

On October 2nd, Electric Talon Records dropped my new single/video ‘All Freaks’.

You can check it out here:

My new record “Mobocracy” was released on October 23rd.

You can get it here:

https://talonrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/wax-mekanix-mobocracy

Who have been your greatest influences?

The list is really long, but as a songwriter, it certainly starts with Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young, Brian Wilson, and Queen. As a performer, it’s Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen, KISS, AC/DC, and Van Halen.

What first got you into music?

Although American AM radio was the soundtrack of my childhood, like so many of my generation, KISS “Alive” and Led Zeppelin IV were flashpoints for me. They sparked me to become a musician and songwriter.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

As a songwriter, Paul McCartney. That would be like studying physics with Isaac Newton. Paul’s abilities, not just a writer but as a vocalist, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist are rare. The guy delivered the blistering proto-metal of ‘Helter Skelter’, the delicate baroque pop of ‘Eleanor Rigby’, and everything in between. Prince is the only other artist that comes to mind that is such a musical Swiss Army knife, so Paul’s the complete package in rock from my perspective.

As a performer, I’d love to have Crobot with me on any stage anywhere. I feel about them like I felt about Van Halen in late 70’s. They are intoxicating, loose, fluid, interesting, groovy, heavy, and funky, while being in total command of what they are doing. When I first encountered them, I was frustratingly jealous of what they were doing. When I got to the end of the album, “Something Supernatural”, I decided to give up on my envy and surrender to their amazing work. I never looked back. For my money, they are what a live rock band is supposed to be.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Glastonbury. It’s the gold standard. By definition, festivals are huge tribal gatherings of people who are singularly focused on experiencing, celebrating, and sharing something that they all passionately love. If we forget about the commercial component for a moment, that seems like the closest we can get to a utopian happening in the 21st century. It’s an annual reminder that humans are still capable of coming together for joy, regardless of things that otherwise might separate us. To be fuel for that should be a high-water mark for any performer.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A whispered apology for being late to my gig. A delicate thoughtful gift delivered in the midst of some typical raucous drunken chaos that was genuine, sincere, heartfelt, and priceless.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Feeling adventurous and brave? Do you trust me? If so, follow me.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Randy Rhoads. Even after 38 years, it’s still hard to focus on what he gave us and not yearn for what he might have amazed us with. Everyone that knew him says that the small amount of his playing that made it to vinyl was just a hint of what he was capable of. He is still revered and missed by many. Long live the memory of Randall William Rhoads.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I don’t hate anything about it.

There are two components to what I like about it. The first part is the intense focus on creation.

Since I see myself as a songwriter first, I like songwriting most. From the time I was a child, writing has been the most consistent and satisfying aspect of my creative life. Inventing something out of nothing that has meaning to me is rejuvenating and cathartic. To have that invention resonate with others is humbling and surprising.

The second part is the performing. Although not as essential to me as writing, once music has been created, it’s fun to relax a bit, gather friends, celebrate, and share it with anyone remotely interested.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’m not alone in thinking that the subjugation of creativity to commerce is toxic to the music industry. I appreciate that there is the need for financial sustainability to bring music to many. I hope that something changes soon where fiercely unique music is encouraged, celebrated, and rewarded before the marketing forces bearing down on it end up normalizing music creation so much that it’s all just one-dimensional sameness.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Blizzard of Ozz” – Ozzy.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

For listening, vinyl.

For convenience, downloads.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

In Autumn of 1983, Nitro opened for Maryland rockers Kix a few times. There was a palpable connection between both bands and the audiences that was unique and somehow elevated from the hundreds of other gigs I’ve done. Everything about the performances was exceptional. Those few gigs were fleeting, mercurial, and immediately intoxicating. I’d heard about this kind of thing from other musicians and thought it was a myth. At the time, I was lucky enough to realize that it was a real, but transient, experience to be savoured in the moment. Trying to describe it is almost impossible to anyone who has not experienced it. Those who have, know exactly what I’m talking about.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Each day I try to do something good for my body, my mind, my heart, and my spirit. If/when I am no longer an active musician, I hope to have other things to give my life meaning.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, & Gandhi

What’s next for the band?

In the time of Covid, staying healthy is paramount. Once gigs can resume safely, I hope to be playing new and older songs for audiences. Until then, I’m working on a new album that I hope to release in 2021. So, it’s write, record, perform, rinse, and repeat!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
www.electrictalonrecords.com/
www.waxmekanix.bandcamp.com/releases
www.facebook.com/WaximMekanix
www.twitter.com/WaxMekanix
www.instagram.com/waxmekanix/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake!!!!!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.