Waxmannequin The Price

Is it dumbed down or beefed up? It’s hard to tell, really. Hamilton, ON’s resident oddball Waxmannequin gets heavy for his third full-length release; enlisting a full-on rock band to bring the rock to his grandiose and generally strange songwriting style. Save for a few songs (like the odd-metered "Now Is Your Chance to Dance” or the sleazy jazz swing of "Glass Empty”), the music on The Price is fairly straightforward but the backdrop sits nicely, leaving plenty of room for the operatic vocal flips and absolutely bizarre lyrics. Every word muttered on The Price is well-thought, clever and captivatingly weird, including commentaries on Jesus ("We write a new bible verse, the one where The Christ makes sweet love to the girls by the ocean”) and CanRock ("It’s Bryan Adams on the phone!”). Wax even throws in the occasional meow just to really freak you out. I sort of miss the skilled classical guitar parts and odd beat programming of his last few records (though you do get small doses of it here) but it’s obvious the rock came calling for Waxmannequin. If you’re titillated by peculiar personalities like Ken Nordeen or Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock and like rock music that doesn’t require much thought, it’s definitely time to play The Price. (Coqi)