I still remember my old college radio station getting a concept record which was—no shit—an album-length rumination on a trip to EpcotCenter. If I had been dictator at that particular moment, the kid’s body would still be strung up in the town square for us all to huck fetid vegetables and tattered copies of CMJ at. Seriously, who the fuck cares about your trip to Epcot Center for even three minutes, let alone forty-five?I don’t often actively get angry at musicians or bands, but when I do it usually involves a concept album. Sure, they’re a good way to garner critical notice and imply a certain amount of musical gravitas, blah blah, blah, but that aforementioned hypothetical dictatorial square has no absence of precocious crucified saps whose thematic “explorations” (quotes mine) deserve a stinky tomato to the face. So imagine my trepidation when I found that Waxeater’s cassette was an album themed around The Wire, my favorite TV show of all time. I was so apprehensive at the prospect of listening to what would doubtlessly be a brutally bad collection of in-jokes that I took my time machine back to last summer, bought a bunch of farm stand veggies, and secured them in my basement so I’d be ready for the present day. But. BUT! Waxeater manages to pull it off: no public humiliation or cold cellar stockpile needed. Far from it. Their band house shares property lines with late-era Black Flag and the Touch And Go roster, with enough howl and shrill grit to warrant discussion of the TV series’ often grim subject matter. This is not done without humor, however; as lines of dialogue become titles, choruses, and hooks on which to hang riffs throughout. I’m sure, too, that the energy present throughout this cassette must translate bombastically in a live setting.
–Michael T. Fournier (Let’s Pretend)