Scapegoat Wax – Swax

Scapegoat Wax - SwaxScapegoat WaxSwax (Hollywood)

Scapegoat Wax is a band, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to Swax. Every instrument sounds like it was generated by a computer. It isn’t a horrible album but it suffers from the same problem that destroys most music released today: the slickness and perfectionism of contemporary recording techniques. When you digitally “correct” every mistake, there’s no room for the soul to poke through. Marty James and his Scapegoat Wax have been compared to Beck, but I don’t hear it. More like Everlast or Uncle Kracker.

A lot of this album sounds like the same weak, overprocessed r&b that you hear on ClearChannel’s “urban” stations. Not sure if that’s what they’re going for, but maybe they’ll give Jamiroquai a run for their money. “Lost Cause” has a pump-your-fist rock guitar chorus but is otherwise unmemorable. “Crawlin'” and “Space to Share” are puss-hop ballads where a little pitch-shifting vocoder action (a la Cher) would fit in perfectly.

“Bloodsweet” has a nice little shuffle but would sound a shitload better if it were played on natural instruments. It’s got a terrible sounding synth line that would work perfectly if it was banged out on a cheap guitar through a dirty old fuzz box. On “Eardrum” we hear Marty affect his best Eminem impression, but who the hell are the Suspects? They rap like MC Ren for Christ’s sake.

The best moments come toward the end of the album. “Perfect Silence” has a Steve Miller groove that might’ve sounded all right performed by Madonna on her Music album. Seriously. “Almost Fine” lays out Swax‘s rawest emotions as Marty tells the story behind his disallusion with Grand Royal Records, which infamously went out of business at the dawn of the release of 2001’s Okeeblow. Sad but true. And it apparently stills stings:

My label president said I was fat

And he made me lose forty pounds

It didn’t make a difference anyway

He ran the label in the ground

Wow! Mike D acting like a 15-year-old actress’ agent. What a dick! Unfortunately, that’s the most exciting and interesting moment on this album.

5 thoughts on “Scapegoat Wax – Swax”

  1. I think this band rocks and everyone that I play their CD for likes them too. If the real problem is the same thing wrong with “the same problem that destroys most music released today” Then why hold it that much against the band????

  2. Dude, this cd rocks ass! It soothes my nerves everytime I hear them. You’re entitled to your opinion but I think that you’re totally wrong on this one.

  3. I have the first album and this one. It isn’t as good as Okeeblow (grandroyal) but Swax (hollywood) is still great. Okeeblow is the best album ever, so of course it can’t be better. Lost Casue is a f**king kick ass song, bloosweet is funny and All my friends is great too. Just coz only 5 songs are new doesn’t mean they’re not good! the other 6 are remixes but are still mint!

    SGW 4 EVA!

  4. Haven’t heard this one but, after publicly making fun of the name Scapegoat Wax and album title (“Okeeblow”), I must say I love his first album. It’s stimulating enough to listen to locked in your room but also fun for parties.

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