Day Two of CMJ Madness: Wax On Radio - Rolling Stone
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Day Two of CMJ Madness: Wax On Radio

Perhaps we just have nukes on the brain, but last night in the basement of B.B. Kings’ Blues Club, Chicago prog-rockers Wax On Radio kicked up ambient explosions to rival Kim Jong Il’s latest nuclear tests. Already darlings of the indie music scene in their hometown, the foursome snagged their first headlining show at venerable Chi-town venue Metro less than a year after they formed, and subsequently got signed to Downtown Records (home to Gnarls Barkley and Art Brut). Their debut album, Exposition, was released in September.

Last night, despite some sound issues, the boys pushed through 30 minutes worth of taught jams, showing off their talent for expansive melodies and harmonic change-ups as bold as prime Zeppelin. The night’s most peculiar moment arrived with the rendering of the track, “Today I Became a Realist.” Normally a stripped-down acoustic platform for lead singer Mikey Russell’s soaring vocal range, this version shimmered with tambourines and doubled-up bass drums, inspiring the otherwise low-key crowd of hooded hipsters to shimmy like a pack of “Solid Gold” dancers. If that’s not enough to convince you, let us spell it out: Expect great things from this promising act.


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