Why WAAX is the next big thing in Australian Rock since Violent Soho

WAAX is one of my absolute favorite Australian bands right now. This five-piece band from our hometown of Brisbane is really blowing up right now. They’ve had an enormous 12 months and have been touring relentlessly, they’ve played huge shows with Dune Rats and WAAVES, put on a Christmas extravaganza with Violent Soho, supported Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro, been added to the Splendour in the Grass lineup, and released a new single !

They have a powerful, unrelenting punk-rock sound, with tight arrangements and inescapable hooks.  Currently they have two EPs, Holy Sick and Wild and Weak, and a new single called Labrador, which hopefully means a full length album later this year. Holy Sick is a solid debut, what it lacks in production value it makes up for with whole lotta heart. Personally I always like a really raw  sounding and unpolished debut to see just what a band is made of. Their second EP Wild and Weak, however, is next level good, musically, lyrically and production-wise. It’s a personal look at Lead singer Marie DeVita’s struggle and exploration of depression and a potential impeding insanity, with each song covering a progression into a different aspect/stage of this emotional conflict. It’s engaging, relatable and incredibly compelling.

They’ve been the support act for a number of years, but are currently on their own headlining tour. We were lucky enough to see them at the Metro in Sydney this month, and they were amazing. The crowd was nuts for them, there was even a circle of death in the mosh pit (which I haven’t seen since a Pennywise show back in 2010, but I guess it’s still a thing people do) and it felt like every single person there knew all the words to every single song from Wild and Weak. It was a wonderful energy and the band were in a state of thrilled disbelief that we were all there to see THEM! The have a phenomenal stage presence. DeVita seems to straddle the line between adorable goofball and completely insane, she’s what someone over 30 (hi, that’s me) might call a regular firecracker. And watching the two guitarists’ Chris and Ewan’s luxurious long locks going off like a couple of majestic party poppers with every bang of the head was one of the most stunning visuals I have ever seen in a live performance. It truly is a sight to behold.

Photos by Matt Walter

If I could impart just one new band for you to listen to, it would be this one.