Harlequin’s Patchwork is the debut EP from Brighton outfit Wax Machine, and it’s an ambitious collection of alternative tunes that feel as if they’ve strayed from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. The four-track release waxes and wanes (as the track names state) through changes in tempo and duration in true avant-garde style, demonstrating the varied musical talents that exist within the Wax Machine.
Opener ‘Harlequin’s Patchwork – Wax’ plays out for an exotic eight minutes – which sounds a little mind-bending – but the experimental, carnivalesque nature of the song prevents your attention from wavering too often. It’s a fluid yet unusual piece, whereas following track ‘Harlequin’s Patchwork – Wane’ follows a slightly clearer aural path. The background organ stands out against the smooth dual female vocals, which are occasionally broken up by an intriguing male voice and some seductive guitar riffs.
One thing’s for sure, it’s never clear which direction a Wax Machine song will take; and ‘Spicebox Rising – Wax’ is another example of the band’s knack for musical diversions. You’ll be humming along to the dreamy vocals & brass elements, and then quite unexpectedly you’ll be interrupted by a mild mannered 30 second skit disguised as a tea party. The band’s cacophony of sound continues on final track ‘Spicebox Rising – Wane’ which brims with jazzy percussion and closes the EP on a quietly optimistic note: “keep on rising, never fade away”.
Harlequin’s Patchwork is an eclectic collage of sound that’s been crafted by an equally eclectic group of musicians. Wax Machine’s debut EP will leave you with kaleidoscopic ear drums.
Harlequin’s Patchwork will be released on the 15th of July. Follow Wax Machine on Facebook for more updates.