Louder Than War’s David Wells revisits The Waxing Captors album ‘Pleasure’, finding it to be a hidden gem that far more people should be aware of.
A couple of years back I bought a CD called “The Ugly Truth About Ipswich”, the place where I grew up. It featured a number of bands I remembered seeing live plus some newer names and it was a track called “Bringing The Beatles Back To Hamburg” by the Waxing Captors that was good enough to make it onto my mobile listening device.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I came across an album by the same band called “Pleasure” and now duly purchased, it’s been on more or less constant play and I find myself wondering why this has not received wider attention (or has it and I’ve just been sleeping). Before we go any further I should state that the album was released in 2010 on Antigen Records so (ahem) it’s hardly a current review but if LTW can re-assess old albums……….
Their Facebook site describes the band as “Party punk 5-piece from Suffolk, UK – sounds a bit like Pixies, Weezer, B-52’s” and I cannot argue with that description. That said I think the band have a distinctive sound of their own which sets them above that description. I am also aware of the temptation of treating bands from one’s hometown too favourably so I removed my rose tinted headphones and gave it a neutral listen.
I’ve to to be honest though the first track “Bottle In My Hand” is a tad underwhelming although this is blown away by the aforementioned “Beatles” track. Those Pixies influences surface to good effect on “Shrinking Telephone” although the band stamp enough of their own personality on it to make it distinctive. “Constant Sorrow” reminds me of something somewhere else in my collection but I just cannot put my finger on what it is. This is a real grower of a song and closes side one (so I assume there are vinyl copies available).
Side 2 kicks off with “File Under Rock and Pop” and this in my view is competing hard to be the best song on the album. A good energetic riff which starts well before getting a little lost in the first verse, but is then rescued by the catchy poppy chorus. After the first one of these you just cannot wait (trust me on this one) for the woo-oo-woos of the next chorus. It’s a very catchy and quirky song which gets better with every listen.
“Golden Afternoon” is an up tempo number which starts well enough but has a rather dull middle section. However the song picks up again at the end but for me it’s a song that could be better by being shorter.
“Jaywalkin’ Out Your Heart” which, with its driving keyboard intro is becoming another favourite and one that reminds more of…….well it’ll probably come to me about 3 o’clock in the morning so I’ll let you know. So moving swiftly on we come to the title track “Pleasure” which is short, sweet and rather good.
“Real Time” is all right – seems a bit of a low point following the previous tracks but it’s not a bad song at all. Shrieking guitars announce the arrival of “All For Me” which is probably the most Pixies like track on the album. You were certainly wearing your heart on your sleeves here lads but no objections from your reviewer on that front.
So in conclusion, this is an intriguing and well baanced mix of punk, pop and indie with a unique favour – certainly worth a listen. As I write this there are a few very cheap copies available on the web or from Antigen Records at £7. A single called “Back to Birmingham” is also available (and worth a listen).