Wax Witches – Centre Of Your Universe
Stuck in my sweltering apartment, listening to Wax Witches’ new album, Centre Of Your Universe, I want nothing more than to be on a roadtrip somewhere on the West Coast.
No wonder! This piece has the story-span of a typical tween summer, right after all your exams are behind you: starting off with loads of enthusiasm and big plans, going over the “finding yourself” phase and perhaps ending the summer disillusioned or maybe even with a “Codeine Crush”.
Centre of Your Universe is a summer soundtrack album; a collection of anthems that should be blasted on your stereo out of your car window with everyone inside singing along (“SU-MMER, SU-CKER, YEAH!”), because, believe me, these tunes are so catchy that everyone will know the lyrics about burritos and beer as soon as they hear the album for the second time.
As the title suggests, it is sprinkled with an abundance of spacey/spheric sounds throughout most of the songs. During the first listen, I think of something I like to call Second Album Syndrome which somehow seems to be a trend. Symptoms are: making the second album more tame sounding, enthusiasm for the use of electronic sounds. Also, there’s an instant connection in my mind with Wavves 2010 album King of the Beach; especially the songs Headshave, Social Introvert and Summer Suckers. These singalong lyrics and catchy melodies, accompanied with fast-paced drums, manage to make you dance around (even if you’re already sweating, alone in your apartment).
Opener Theme Song sounds like exactly that: a theme song for a mini series about a love story in outer space, complete with a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days and extraterrestrial sounds. Going with the theme of the summer roadtrip through the galaxy, there should always come a night where you land on some beach with your friends and a bunch of random people around a bonfire talking about deeply philosophical themes like, say, the idolisation of rockstars. Centre of Your Universe covers these times with the songs You’re Not My Idol So I Shouldn’t Be Yours and Twenty Seven (duh.) with Too Young To Die right after it. The deeper meaning of this is for you to decide on such summer nights, accompanied of course by this robo-synthy, reverb-heavy and summer-drummer-epic soundtrack.
Towards the daunting end of our summer, thoughts of self-questioning arise, making us contemplate our social status and how we’re going to fit in at our new jobs, in University, maybe highschool? Ultra Outcast is for all you lost kids out there. Fittingly enough, this is a slower song, somewhat of a tweenage slackers lament (completed with underwater sounds), but at the same time very reassuring in its “I don’t need anyone else” – mentality.
Codeine Crush is the last number on the list, and it reminds me of the ending credits after a young adult film like, say, Pretty in Pink, or in this case, Centre of Your Universe. Like the name suggests, it is a trippy, drowsy, melted lava river of a song and I can’t help but imagine a group of highschool losers, buzzing on cough syrup, slow-dancing at their senior prom.
Review by Julia Boyle.