Written by: PP on 12/10/2010 06:37:18

It isn't difficult to detect the infamous bands that have influenced Waxeater, an experimental punk/hardcore trio from Bloomington, Indiana. They've just released their debut full length "Sleeper", where they've opted for an extremely underproduced, garage-ish sound where instrumental prowess is largely drowned underneath extensive amounts of noisy dissonance. On one hand, it creates a good sense of controlled chaos that fits well with their attempt to experiment beyond the well defined confines of both punk and hardcore, but on the other hand it makes their lo-fi fury almost unbearable to endure every now and then.

I've been listening to the record for well over a month now, and while I appreciate what they're trying to do here, there are some fundamental problems with this approach when it has been recorded onto a plastic disc instead of experienced live. You see, Waxeater are fucking intense. They are a tightly wound unit that bounces into every direction possible instrumentally speaking, utilizing effects pedals, off-tune riffs and unmelodic shouting to the extent that melody and structure are alien planets in their sonic universe. You can try imagine Fugazi not affording a proper recording studio while attempting to create Refused-style explosive energy all around, with all the experimental and avant-garde composition of a band like These Arms Are Snakes. You guessed right, the outcome is a mess, albeit an explosive and intriguing one. I can almost guarantee it's going to be insanely tight and intense when experienced live, but on record, the budget production, that admittedly helps give the record its utter unpredictability, reduces from the effectiveness of their sound. It's like that on purpose though, and occasionally they it succeeds as well. "Old Problems, New Eyes" in particular sounds just like the best material from "Easter" by These Arms Are Snakes, and that's never a bad thing.

And truthfully, "Sleeper" isn't all that bad that I make it out to be during this review. If anything, it contains a unique sound that's bound to appeal to the lo-fi crowd, especially those who often buy vinyl recordings and/or like their music to have glitches, scratches and the odd mistakes here and there. Plus, the songs are strangely enjoyable, even if they suffer slightly from the garage quality recording.


Download: Are Those Fucking Beers Ice Cold Yet?, Old Problems, New Eyes
For the fans of: These Arms Are Snakes, Fugazi, Refused, The Melvins
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.09.2010
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