I’ve never listened to anything from the band Wax Fang before yesterday. NPR’s weekly podcast All Songs considered played a song called “The Astronaut” from their new album with the same name. OH EM GEE! The song completely blew me away. It was 16 minutes of mind blowing rock and roll. That’s right, I said 16 minutes. In fact there are only five songs on the whole album ( the third track is 12 minutes and the final song is over six minutes).
I hate the word epic, but there’s no other way to explain the album. Not only are the songs ridiculously long (in a good way), but it’s about an astronaut (clearly) who is separated from his ship and is pulled into a black hole (which apparently don’t exist according to a recent theory by Stephen Hawking) and is floating through space. How cool is that?
I’m not sure what to compare it to. At times the vocals remind me Thom York. The music is all over the place. It’s ambient, it’s big guitars, it’s electronic. It’s everywhere.
It’s very original. Not everyone is composing 16 minute songs about drifting through the infinite abyss of space. Wax Fang has made something unique and beautiful. I’ve heard the term rock opera used to describe concept story albums, but I never quite felt that the music lived up to such a lofty description. The Astronaut is a rock opera.