The beauty of BIGSOUND, ladies and gentlemen, is that this is the second time I’m caught Brisbane powerhouse group WAAX. Choosing to see the same band twice at BIGSOUND over the other ten-or-so bands clashing at the same time is a big call. But, boy, was WAAX worth the revisit.
WAAX are just a powerhouse, by every means of the word. I’ll start off by mentioning lead singer Marie’s fierce vocal prowl. Think the Kills’ Alison Mosshart melanged with Siouxsie and the Banshees.
I was convinced, however, that I’m a lifelong WAAX fan when the Foals cover came to light. The band impressively tone matched with Foals’ intricate guitar sounds – not an easy feat considering WAAX had half the amount of pedals at their disposal. Although what allowed this cover to stand out from the pack is Marie’s daringly angsty and fierce vocal performance. I’ve literally run out of synonyms to describe just how mighty her stage presence was. Marie’s growl and screaming ability far exceeds those of some hardcore bands.
Filling in the thirty-minute set, WAAX chomped through their catalogue detailing with ‘Wisdom Teeth’ early on, slowing it down – and switching instruments – with a new cut from their “Holy Sick” EP, ‘CC Thugs’. They ended their set with, arguably, their largest, punchiest and most aggressive song, ‘I For And Eye’. I was left speechless, as was Marie who blindly hugs some of her band mates and walked off stage in a daze. We were both trying to figure out that emotional rollercoaster.
I fell in love with DZ Deathrays by seeing them play a thirty-minute before they had one album under their belt. Seems the feeling is mutual with WAAX. I can, and will, see myself moshing to this band at the Amphitheatre Stage at Splendour in the Grass, while simultaneously having a brutal blast on the dancefloor at Elsewhere.
By Jake Wilton