When you sit with people from other countries, it is important to have some fall back, standardized way to explain where you are from. Of course we all have these icons, these posters, these fleeting images that remind ourselves of where we came from and are readily recalled by our frontal cortex when asked to explain ourselves. When we trust the person and we know that the question is meant because the other conversant(s) truly does want to understand us, then we are more easily able to open up and to tell the truth.
When I want to explain American rock music, and in a little bit the America that I know and love, to people who only know of America from what their news and Hollywood tells them I have a go to band. My icon for all that is great and wonderful about American rock music. Wax Fang.
These are three dudes from Louisville who just build face melting rock and roll music. It is fast, aggressive, in your face, and musically delicious. In something like 2006 or so I saw them at Exit In for what was then known as Next Big Nashville. I think we were going to see a different band and just happened upon Wax Fang. They melted my face. Since then I’ve seen them a couple of times at the Basement. Always I’ve left with a melted face.
Three dudes who know how to play their instruments really damn well, who don’t hide behind loops and over-reverb and autotuners. They play straight-forward. The guitarist has some David Gilmour, some Bowie. The bassist is just rock solid. And the drummer may be one of my favorite contemporary drummers. When I put on their La La Land album (particularly while driving because what could be more American than that), and drive all I can do is think of this all screwed up, dirty, aggressive, lovely, caring, wonderful country that we’ve built for ourselves and smile. So without further ramblings…. Wax Fang.
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