Lost Wax Guild Lost Wax Guild

As he’s demonstrated in dense yet accessible songs for the Super Friendz, Charles Austin is a master of off-kilter pop music that is hauntingly compelling. Anyone aware of Austin’s work in Neusiland and Buck 65 knows about his gifts for weird, sophisticated musical arrangements, which are foreign yet eerily familiar. As Lost Wax Guild, Austin has found a whole other voice to guide his singular explorations and his debut record is "trippy” in the best possible sense. "Echolocation” brings the post-rock of Tortoise to mind, while "Magic Potion” dutifully refers to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The hazy folk of the Alan Parsons Project is updated on "Streets are Empty” and the brief "were f-og” comes across as a Jim O’Rourke snippet. Minus the mariachi, "Sleep Will Come for You” possesses all the hallmarks of a dreamy Calexico number. "Eyes in the Back of Your Head,” which features Austin’s most emotional vocal, is the kind of space pop that would make the Flaming Lips proud, while "Froze” is the right tinge of dubbed-out country to betray Austin’s fascination with Willie Nelson. Lost Wax Guild is a deep, dark side of Charles Austin that few have encountered and fans of subversive, experimental rock will surely cling to the breathtaking scope of this startling debut. (Zunior)