Like a championship title fight, you might have to take a few blows on the way to victory. Brisbane five-piece WAAX have taken the long, beaten track towards the release of their triumphant debut album, Big Grief.
Frontwoman Maz DeVita paces back and forth between choruses like a bull stalking its matador during Labrador, I Am and FU, the trio of lead singles providing plenty of opportunities to beat your chest, pump your fist and scream at the top of your lungs. On the other end of the scale, the band unclench their fists in mid-album slow-burners Changing Face and History, showing moments of restraint and vulnerability; a softer side rarely seen before now, it’s a welcome string to the band’s growing bow.
DeVita’s songwriting isn’t especially prophetic or conceptual, but it’s authentic and raw – traits that have always been WAAX’s most endearing qualities. Traversing internal monologues and external expressions, Big Grief explores breakups, gaslighting, anxiety, body image and loss, with a fuzzy wave of distortion and riffs washing over the top of it all. “For someone so careful I do some reckless things,” DeVita sings during album closer IDKWIFL. “I’m saying sorry before I even speak”. It’s in these flashes of self-doubt and inner reflection where DeVita drops her guard, that the rest of the album is elevated to its soaring, empowered peaks.
Big Grief by WAAX is out now via Dew Process.
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