Music News

Wax on Radio

New buzz bands tend to sound a helluva lot like the buzz bands that immediately preceded them -- most of which have already lost their buzz or never really had much in the first place. Not so Wax on Radio, a Chicago act that draws from styles considerably more varied than the latest hot-list entry throughout Exposition, its Downtown Records debut. Singer/guitarist Mikey Russell has a voice that naturally gravitates toward the higher registers, and when tracks such as "Dawn Architects" give him an excuse to go there, he loves to linger -- whether he's gently tracing a ripe melody or figuratively climbing to the heavens one note at a time. As for the group's music, it's a case of proggy went a-courtin', with relatively straightforward segments frequently serving as first stops on artier journeys. Granted, the men of Wax (joined at the hi-dive by the Vanity and tt Lester) take occasional side trips to pretentiousness, but their singularity is appreciated. Rather than blending in with everyone else, they've got a buzz all their own.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts