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Wax - 13 Unlucky Numbers (Cover Artwork)

Wax

Wax: 13 Unlucky Numbers13 Unlucky Numbers (1995)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: CantSitStillCantSitStill
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wax was always a band that confused me: they were on a major label, had a "hit" song with a memorable video ("California", directed by Spike Jonze), toured enough to get their name out there, and had a completely accessible sound for a wide range of audiences. But like many other mid-`90s bands, Wax.
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Wax was always a band that confused me: they were on a major label, had a "hit" song with a memorable video ("California", directed by Spike Jonze), toured enough to get their name out there, and had a completely accessible sound for a wide range of audiences. But like many other mid-`90s bands, Wax just faded into obscurity.

Which is a shame, because 13 Unlucky Numbers showed a lot of promise for a band that could have easily been your favorite. Their sound falls somewhere between the Ramones and...I don't know, Weezer maybe? Which is unfair to say, because it's hard to pin down exactly how Wax sounds. All the songs are around 2:30 long, the guitar work is simplistic at times and intricate at others. Power chords and downstrokes abound, only to be matched on the next verse by a solo-ish guitar break. Joe Sib's (of 22 Jacks / SideOneDummy) lyrics never come close to bordering on poetic, but their simplicity matches with the music quite well. Loomis makes the most out of his minimalistic drumming, keeping 4/4 time throughout. Calling Wax a "punk" band may be a little overstatement, but a "rock band with punk leanings" might describe them better.

Most people recognize "California" as the band's one song that received any type of airplay. But most of the remaining 9 songs (yes, only 10, the last 3 are blank) are just as good, if not better. The opening track "Who Is Next," which interestingly was used in a Nike ad, is a fast-paced number with an ass-kicking slowed down bridge that builds back up into the opening riff and tempo. Other gems on the disc include the aforementioned "California," "Stop Sign," "Just a Visitor," and "Too Well," the latter being the most frantic of all the tracks.

13 Unlucky Numbers is not without fault, most notably the fact that the disc only has 10 tracks clocking in under 24 minutes. Two of the songs (not counting the last 3 blank tracks) are what I'd call "throwaway" songs ("Jiffy Boy," "Knot"), so really you're only left with 8 tracks. But the remaining disc I feel more than makes up for the brevity, it's just a shame that Wax couldn't have thrown a few more songs on the tracking.

As above, vocalist Joe Sib went on to form 22 Jacks and now runs SideOneDummy, guitarist Soda has a new band, which I believe drummer Loomis (who you've seen on the "Jackass"/"Wildboyz" shows) is playing in. 13 Unlucky Numbers is out of print, but there are still plenty of copies available on Amazon and eBay (hell, it's 1 cent even). Give it a try.

"California" video

Soda and His Million Piece Band

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 16, 2006)

One of Wax's songs was even used in a TV commercial with Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. They stopped traffic in New York, set up a net, and played a set all too Wax. I think it was a NIke spot.

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

i saw this band years ago when they opened up for a great Ventura CA local band Phooey. i enjoy their record prior to this one... mainly cuz there is more songs. i should break those cds out theyve been sittin the the back of my cd case for too long.

kingofsuck (July 10, 2006)

I've fucking loved "California" for years, but somehow I've never heard anything else by them. I've never come across any of their albums or anything.

Anonymous (July 9, 2006)

They have this in the dollar bin at a local record store and while I've been meaning to get it for years I always end up picking something else. I found Randy's "Welfare Problems" in the same bin, and that's one of my all-time favorite albums now.

Anonymous (July 8, 2006)

"jiffy boy" and "knot" i wouldn't call throwaway songs. in fact i enjoy those two songs moreso than a lot of what is on this. its weird that you did this review cause i've had this since it came out (bought it on tape first, then later found it in a cd dollar bin) and i haven't listened to it in probably 4 years before throwing it on a week or so ago. this is better than most of the shitty music coming out today. the album before this was pretty decent too. but this one is fantastic.

skolarx (July 7, 2006)

great band, seems strange now that i found out about them through their cover of "happy happy, joy joy" from some saturday morning cartoons comp that i also first heard face to face on back in '95

Anonymous (July 7, 2006)

I remember seeing that music video a long time ago and thinking it was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. I remembed the song name was California and later found out it was a Spike Jonez video, but I didn't know the band name until now. I learned something today.

disko (July 7, 2006)

Joe Sib rules.

ZLNFTOC (July 7, 2006)

Nice review. I never knew that the guy from 22 Jacks was in this band. Anyways Wax's "Mallrats" was a great tune; it makes me miss the mid 90's.

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