Review: Wax Fang – The Astronaut
National Music Reviews
Don’t Panic Records
Wax Fang = The Mars Volta + King Crimson + Muse
The Astronaut is a prog-psych throwback to the days when these kinds of sci-fi conceptually driven albums were vital pieces of the musical landscape and black light art industry. While you may roll your eyes at the pretense of a concept album about an astronaut emerging from a black hole as a limitless superbeing, it is hard to fault the ambitious scope of this project—two musicians from Louisville, KY scoring these massive, soaring, 10-minute-plus epics with symphonic scores, brawny psych guitar work and droning atmospherics.
The result is an album brimming with unhinged psychedelic influences that borrow heavily from heady UK psychedelia and often space-related themes coupled with a very American tendency to let the beat ride into uncharted, improvised territories full of free-jazz riffs, squealing electronics and a muscular groove that gives this already heavy album its own gravitational pull. –Ryan Hall
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