Released August 19, 2016
by Larissa Blokhuis
Wax by The Alpacas starts soft, with a fast tempo and a somewhat melancholic sound, giving it a nostalgic feel. The video is entirely black and white, mostly showing the band playing several small venues.
Brothers Greg (vocals) and Brent Lee (guitar and vocals) are joined by Nick Harper (drums) and Brett Garner (bass). Members have played in cover bands in their hometown of Barrie, Ontario, but their intention with The Alpacas was to play original compositions. They have released two EPs, and on Oct. 14, 2016, they will debut their first LP, The Best is Behind You, where Wax can be heard.
Greg and Brent harmonize throughout Wax over a refined garage/alt sound. While the band cites musical influences such as Led Zeppelin, the Ramones and Nirvana, with this song they remind me most of early Weezer. Lyrics are introspective and personal-sounding.
The first verse goes, "I’m getting headaches from guitar again / My face is covered by my arms / I want to die in this old bar, he said / I’ll fabricate some late-night charm."
After the first verse the band goes loud, rocking out in earnest for the chorus. The band has said the song is about the trade-off when the happiest thing, playing music, comes with being social when you’re not necessarily in that mode. The sound and lyrics work perfectly together. The nostalgic elements and personal lyrics lend this song an intimate feel, exactly what you would want to listen to in a small venue with close friends.
If Wax doesn’t have a sound you usually enjoy, it’s worth listening to a few songs by The Alpacas. In each song you can hear a different set of influences. I'm looking forward to hearing how the whole debut LP brings these varied songs together.