Put simply, Matt Embree is among the most talented musicians in current alternative music. His work as guitarist/singer/songwriter for the RX Bandits has been groundbreaking. The band has created music that is innovative and complex while still maintaining a style that even non-musicians can appreciate. Love You Moon is the solo side-project of Embree where he plays acoustic guitar and sings. On Waxwane, he continues his musical journey with some impassioned songs that run the gamut lyrically from love to politics while showing off his ability with an acoustic guitar.
Embree has a very distinctive voice and his vocal range is pretty impressive. Due to this, the songs on Waxwane have more emotion then they would with another singer. The album was recorded live, which is one of Embree’s hallmarks, as the last three RX Bandits albums have also been recorded live. This is a vital aspect of the album, as it allows him to show that he can create a strong album without relying on studio effects. So many rock bands nowadays have such heavy effects on their records that it is a detriment to the sound rather than an enhancement. Embree shuns this in his albums and it should also be mentioned that he used analogue techniques during the recording of this album.
The music on Waxwane is relatively bare bones in that most of them are Embree, a guitar and the listener. RX Bandits band mate/drummer Chris Tsagakis makes some appearances on drums and Lauren Coleman adds some back-up vocals on some tracks. Honestly, if it was just Embree on these songs it would be enough for an enjoyable experience.
The first song on the album is Screams in a Vacuum, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. A five minute song with just Embree and his guitar contains some of his best lyrics on any album of his yet, including his work with RX Bandits and The Sound of Animals Fighting. The album does have many political statements within it, as the song The Last Words of Nicholas Berg shows. As much as the record does have a political slant at points, it’s never overbearing for those who disagree with his views. That’s worth mentioning since some bands that have politics in their music tend to be divisive.
Really, there isn’t that many negative moments on Waxwane. It’s not an all-time classic however it’s an album that wears its emotions on its sleeve. Embree released the record in 2008 on Sargent House/Mash Down Babylon Records, and if you can pick it up, then give it a shot. For someone who is looking for a laid-back album with deep lyrics and great guitar work then give Waxwane a shot.