(Trouble in Mind)
The Wax Museums write fast, sloppy punk songs about any damned thing,
chronicling summer’s highs (“Breakfast for Dinner”) and lows (“Mosquito Enormo”
and “Sunburn”) with Ramones-esque bravado. Their lyrics sound like someone’s
smart-mouthed teenage brother (“You know I hate the space between/your neck and
eyebrows” from “Between”) cracking wise between huffs of paint. Their music,
too, is the essence of garage punk simplicity, two- and three-chord rave-ups
stripped of ornamentation and pushed to maximum velocity.
Still there’s a bit of a sideways grin tucked in here, as if the
members of the Wax Museums (some of whom also play in Mind Spiders and the Bad
Sports) are not anywhere near as stupid as they’re pretending to be. “Mosquito
Enormo,” is all dead-panned and stoner-fogged, a song that is pretty
straightforwardly about getting bitten by bugs. You’re laughing at the Wax
Museums all the way through it, thinking how could they possibly take this
seriously enough to write a song about it?
And then, suddenly you started to realize (maybe with the aside, “Tell
you something scarier/I think you’ve got malaria”) that they’re laughing right
back at you. The sex songs are just as intentionally, in-your-facedly lame-brained, “Breakfast for Dinner” somehow making a link
between afternoon pancakes and doing the nasty, “Bruiser” looking at the bright
side of girl-on-boy sexual violence (“She’s a bruiser/because her love
shows/even after she’s gone”).
These are dumb-assed songs, but they’re really great dumb-assed songs, pumped up with Clash/Ramones guitar mayhem,
clattering chaotic drums and catchy melodies of ADD-level brevity. Stop thinking
about it, and enjoy the Eye Times this summer. Just don’t forget the sunblock…or the bug repellant.
DOWNLOAD: “Mosquito Enormo”
“Breakfast for Dinner” JENNIFER