Review by Andy Houghton for MPM
Alternative rock band Wax On Water is the creation of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Maya Damaris, a classically-trained pianist and singer who set up the band almost a decade ago.
Supported by guitarist Steven Blessing, who joined the band in 2019, Damaris has now released a new EP, ‘The Drip – Part 1’.
The EP’s title may seem a bit strange, until you learn that this EP is part of a drip-feed of new material that started with the release of a single in September, and is due to culminate in the launch of a full-length album – ‘The Drip’ – in May 2022.
Wax On Water’s sound is perhaps best summarised as electro-industrial rock. It’s a curious blend of sounds that defies any attempt at categorisation into a single genre, but it nonetheless forms a coherent whole, and it works.
The five-track (well, four-and-a-bit track) EP opens with a 41-second ‘Prologue’, which gently introduces us to the electronica before things kick off properly with ‘Don’t Bore Us’.
It’s here that we get to experience Damaris’s vocals: she possesses a captivating voice, slightly gritty (in a good way) and never less than compelling.
Meanwhile Blessing’s work on guitar is masterfully understated – it’s always skilfully taut but never showy. This is all backed by a soundscape of electronica, which makes for an original and fascinating sound.
While ‘Don’t Bore Us’ feels dark and relatively downbeat, the pace picks up with ‘The Sting In The Raw’, at least instrumentally if not lyrically.
Damaris’s expressive voice is perfectly suited for conveying the emotion of the lyrics, while fitting in with the ‘industrial’ feel of the EP as a whole. ‘Seventh Son’ starts low and slow, but soon finds its feet and presents us with another tale of relationship angst.
‘For the Love of Money’ brings things to a close with a cover of a soul/funk song first released by the O’Jays in 1973. It’s not an obvious choice, although it’s one that turns out to be well-suited to an electronica overhaul.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it brings with it a distinct shift in tone – it’s more ‘poppy’, for a start – and provides a sharp contrast with the rest of the EP. As such, it showcases the band’s range, although it does make the EP feels a bit disjointed.
I hadn’t discovered Wax On Water before hearing ‘The Drip – Part 1’, but the EP has certainly engaged my curiosity, and garnered my enthusiasm to seek out more of their work. It’s genuinely unique, and there’s a lot of talent on display. Recommended.
- Don’t Bore Us
- The Sting in the Raw
- Seventh Son
- For the Love of Money
‘The Drip – Part 1’ is released on November 12th 2021
THE DRIP PART 1-OUT NOW. Alt Rock from the UK. Stream on Spotify: https://orcd.co/3jb5yva