Lowell experimental alt-rock band Wax On has led local fans through plenty of different emotions throughout the years. With every album release, they find a way to surprise fans with their sound. On August 4, they released single “Wolfsheets,” and we got a whole new level of Wax On we didn’t know we needed. The single is to be followed by the full record called Sprezzatura, which will be released on September 8. The inspiration for the record’s name is credited to bassist Nick Capezutto, who spent the night in a Wikipedia word search wormhole. He eventually came to the word Sprezzatura, meaning studied carelessness.
The band is made up of five members who are spread all over New England. Luke Pelletier and Dan Cady are on guitar and vocals, Nick Capezzuto is on bass and Mike Colucci is on drums. Jordan Collard, on trumpet, is included on this record, but is no longer part of the band due to personal reasons and distance.
The band started playing together in high school, and has been together for approximately 10 years. Prior to the upcoming Sprezzatura record, the band produced two other albums: Revolution is a Conscious Mind and Homework. Revolution is their first album and was recorded in a friend’s basement. In their album Homework, the band includes a more quality mixed and mastered collection of those songs, including “Operation Midnight Climax,” “Eyes Set To Kill (The Agency)” and “Lonely Stranger.”
Sprezzatura is being released through Dollhouse Lightning, a record label from western Massachusetts, recognized for putting out local Providence band Bochek’s record and other R.I. groups, as well as TIFFY, amiright?, The Baja Blasters, and many others. Mix, master, and additional instrumentation is by Marco Reeves.
“It feels authentic. It feels like we’re finally being recognized and brought into the real stream of things,” said Pelletier of the new album.
Cappezutto said it feels like it was the next step and goal to properly write music and release through an official record label as opposed to producing, recording and marketing their music by themselves. He said that “Wolfsheets” kind of sounds like their older song, “Ursula.” Colucci said the writing process for Sprezzatura was very challenging, but as it came together, the writing became easier.
“One of the coolest things that I really enjoyed about Homework was that there’s like a suite of different vibes. There’s reggae parts, post-hardcore parts, but there’s also ambient parts,” said Pelletier. “It’s a lot of stuff that’s kind of a spread over a broad spectrum. So with Sprezzatura, we tried to make it more cohesive, yet keep the variety there.”
Wax On has used their time away from live shows to progress their sound further. Thus, Sprezzatura was born. Before the coronavirus madness, they played shows around Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Wax On embodies the sounds of multiple genres, including experimental math rock, heavy rock and some ska-punk elements — the latter genre is a topic of discussion among the members of the band.
“All of our taste in music is very, very eclectic,” said Collard. “Our backgrounds and eclectic tastes make us unique, as far as bringing different material and ideas to the table.”
“Wolfsheets” has a similar sound to their previous records, but on a whole other degree of Wax On mania. The new single reminds me of Mars Volta’s “L’Via L’Viaquez” with the switch up in tempos and changes in vocals. The first minute of the song starts with white noise followed by a repeated guitar strum. Then from one second to the other, they burst into song. “Wolfsheets” fades from distorted guitars and wry, megaphone effect vocals to acoustic guitar and melodic singing throughout the song. The song builds up to the ultimate ending with a mix of trumpet, distorted screams, heavy guitar, and just head banging goodness. It is constantly changing beat and rhythm, and it is a great teaser for what awaits the upcoming album.
Guitarist and vocalist Dan Cady said the whole album feels like a clock, but its hands go in opposite directions, yet it still syncs with the orderly time. Fan of Wax On and grizzlies. guitarist, Josh Zenil, mentions Wax On has always been great at perfectly blending chaos and sweetness.
“I think that’s their strongest point in this song and why I’m a fan of so many of their songs. It’s like the perfect formula — reel in the listeners with melody and delicate vocals, then hit them with distorted guitar. That’s when everyone can go in banging their heads,” said Zenil.
“Wolfsheets” can be heard on all streaming services You can preorder their album Sprezzatura, which comes out next month, on CD and cassette.