Wednesday 24 April 2013

Sam Flax - Age Waves

Album review by

It apparently took Sam Flax several years to compose and record this album and he's had help, especially on stage, from members of Hunx & His Punx, Shock and Holy Shit. The Californian's list of influences is varied too, eclectic barely covers it. So what with the time period, the range of different sounds and the sporadic recording, 'Age Waves' has the feel of a collection of songs instead of an "album", if that makes sense. If not, let me elaborate. This record is full of songs that don't match, it jumps from one style to the next and you never know what's around the corner.

You would think this could go either of two ways: an exciting journey through different ideas, a bit like having your brain on shuffle, or a complete incoherent mess. In truth it's somewhere in between, but thankfully closer to the former. 'Age Waves' is a bit like finding a massive box of random stuff that you put in the loft years ago and forgot about. Now you get to open it, with some excitement, and see what lies inside; the good, the bad, the surprising and the stuff you don't even recognise. The best way to assess this album is a quick rummage (no innuendo please) to give you some pointers, and then let you listen for yourself.

Scratchy garage-psych can be found on 'Fire Doesn't Burn Itself', 'Everybody Wants' and 'Further West', strange, minimal, retro funk/disco on 'Child Of Glass', indie/R&B hybrids on 'Almost Young' and 'Another Day', experimental dreampop type stuff on 'Dark Water', 'Homesick For Osaka' and 'Crystal Death', 'Backwards Fire' even brings in a hint of T-Rex's 'Cosmic Dancer. In reality this album is a hybrid of all of the above, so trying to limit each song to one or two genres is difficult. It's not particularly like much else going and in some ways this is a good thing. But perhaps, overall, some people might find 'Age Waves' a little too muddled.

Sam Flax's website

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