Wax Atlantic – S/T

Review by Tim Martin

It is a fear of mine that we let bands like this pass us by. It can happen all too easily, so roll down the tinted windows, lighten up on the gas, adjust your mirrors, and lend your ears. I want to let Dave Dalrymple’s songwriting speak volumes for itself, but you may want to direct your attention to the band’s impressive list of affiliates, having worked with Yukon Blonde, Zeus, and Julie Doiron, just to name a few.

Wax Atlantic’s sound pops, buzzes, and croons interchangeably as though a bumblebee, being awoken from a nap, is pacing fresh petals, and getting ready to drink deep. There are rushes of sweet nectar, followed by the desire to float peacefully into naptime again. The soundscape is never too busy, and yet it gives the ear quite a stimulating tickle. Even breezy tracks like “Twenty Odd” come with the unexpected vigour of old Strokes albums, while the hefty swells of “purple hearts” and “cheers” should go without saying. The production quality is that of calm and collected Indie rockers, with networks of harmonies and vocal trusses that help build on a solid base.

The lyricism on the album is owing to the competency and obvious inner-conflict of Dave Dalrymple, whose efforts were well deserving of some seriously talented band-mates and contributors. The songs have a brooding, bitter sarcasm, and yet are full of tongue-in-cheek references to a stale relationship, with a wink-at-the-audience sort of wistfulness. “Friends like these” may be the best example of this, as Dalrymple quotes the old English proverb, “with friends like these, who needs enemies?” Behind the sorrow on tracks like “bunker heart” and “wait for days,” there are overtones of fun, nostalgia, and good ideas for the way to go from here all throughout. The record functions like pollination: a process of mutual benefit, sudden moments of intrusion and departure, and the smell of flowers to ease the pain of transience. We would do well to receive a follow up release from these guys, soon. This debut definitely leaves a sweet taste on your musical palate.