Sam Flax - 'Age Waves' (The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing)

Sam Flax – ‘Age Waves’ (The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing)

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Broadcasting amorphously from the FM rock radio stations of California, circa 1983; Sam Flax‘s placable tunes convincingly belong to another era. Slowly cooked in a effete aesthetic of sun-drenched echo, reverb and dry-ice; Age Waves sounds like an acid-pop meeting between John Carpenter and Hall & Oates.

Essentially Flax scores the soundtrack to a laconic psychedelic movie about romantic alienation and peregrination love: try the Breakfast Club set in the dystopian world of Blade Runner. Out-and-out new wave guitar filtered singles appear alongside atmospheric reverberating instrumental passages. These passing soundscapes add a kind of gravitas; evoking as they do, a brief resemblance to the music of Vangelis, on Dark Water, and Ennio Morricone (especially his The Mission soundtrack) on Crystal Death.

A hazy summer break-out, if you could call it that, Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself sounds like Ariel Pink deconstructing The Cars and Flamin Groovies. Multiple arching delayed guitars shimmer and vibrate to an MTV melodious proto-garage band backing; the vocals almost washed away and eroded on the lapping tide of effects. Child Of Glass is more like the lost indie track from Breakdance The Movie, and Backward Fire is Pink Floyd-esque poetic elegy across the Mojave desert, with Flax listening to a mix of the Flaming Lips and Spiritualized on his cassette playing walkman as he swoons through the arid air, “Tried to cool her down/but she only gets hotter.”

Trying as it does to re-examine and adapt a varied and colourful musical palette of late 70s and early 80s halcyon, but moody, pop and rock, Sam Flax’s San Fran Bay musings sail close to the Parrallax reinvention of Bradford Cox (aka Atlas Sound), tethered as they are to, again, another age, yet slightly less inventive.





SAM FLAX – Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself from SAM FLAX on Vimeo.

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