With his new album Psychotomimetic, Wax Mekanix is able to step back, observe, and share his thoughtful point of view. That’s kind of the whole point of the record, due out on September 8th via Electric Talon Records.
Based in Philadelphia, Wax is not your typical musician. A founding member of the cult band Nitro, he is defined by his eclectic, irreverent point of view. It’s a collection of songs that defy genre; they are heavy, trippy, insightful, and at times disconcerting. He uses songwriting as a vehicle to criticize the power of the media with both wit and sarcasm. It all works out well on this rather melodic new offering.
Offering some background on the recording of the album, Wax states:
“Psychotomimetic is my third release with the mighty Electric Talon Records, and it’s unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s an unusual word, so say it slowly a few times until it rolls off the tongue easily. If I can do it, you can. I stepped back after Mobocracy and Blunt, and took a look at the new songs I was writing. I gave some thought to how I could continue the conversation I’m having with my audience. I tried to figure out a way to do that so that it would be a bit different, fun, interesting, and unique to me.
“Recorded mostly in Philadelphia, with some things chiseled out in Austin, Texas, the record was again helmed by producers Maxim ‘Lectriq’ Laskavy and Machine. One track, ‘Two Left Feet,’ was produced by Grammy-winner, Dirty Harry Zelnick.”
The album is wide-ranging but also feels recognizable. As Wax explains:
“In a word, Psychotomimetic is heavy. Lots of snarling, howling, and pounding that I love. This record can’t be mistaken for anything other than muscular, searing, trippy, psychedelic, thought-provoking Rock, with a capital ‘R.’ Some interesting sonic twists and turns are also included, since that’s how I like to roll.
“There is an obvious familiarity to some of the jams that may compel some to say it all borders on artistic blasphemy. That I’ve scrawled a musical moustache on the Mona Lisa. So, I’m bracing myself for some to emotionally respond by branding me as a musical thug and heretic. That’s ok because it signals that I’m pushing the envelope a bit and challenging any audience of mine to keep their minds and hearts open. Hopefully, it reminds them that I’m following my inspiration wherever it takes me, and that they are welcome to come along on my atypical trip.”
Elaborating on his songwriting approach, Wax adds:
“It seems obvious, but I’ll remind anyone that my approach to the tunes on Psychotomimetic is in the spirit of the old folk tradition of using existing respected musical form for contemporary expression via current interpretation. Every sonic nuance on this record is intended with love, appreciation, and respect. Once a sober, calm, and clear listening is done, I think anyone will understand what I’m going for here and enjoy how me and my crew carved this out. It was a blast to make and we are stoked to share it.
“Two farm-fresh videos are chambered and ready to swing, and I’m planning more, so strap in and stay hydrated. If all goes as planned, over the next few months, I’ll be jamming these and other gems from all of my records in CA, PA, MN, FL, NJ, and NY. Stay tuned for dates and times.”
There is a connective element that joins Psychotomimetic to its predecessors, 2021’s Blunt, and 2020’s more rock oriented Mobocracy. At the same time, Psychotomimetic’s songs reference the familiar past, speak to our turbulent times, and reflect on the uncertainty of the future. Wax used this opportunity to give place to his many voices. It offered him a sense of artistic liberty to just go where he wanted to venture off to. We’d say he has quite cleverly and gracefully continued that conversation with his audience.