steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Scapegoat Wax

"Swax" CD

Hollywood Records

Genres: rock, alternative, hip-hop

Hollywood Records
500 S. Buena Vista St. 
Burbank, CA 91521

Jan 13 - 19 2003

Sometimes albums don't have to be technically astounding or musically important to be "good." Sometimes a disc can be good just because it's loads of fun. As is the case with Scapegoat Wax's very danceable Swax album.

The twelve tracks on Swax are party-friendly, enjoyable tunes that blend hip-hop beats and attitude with rock instrumentation. Occasionally there's rapping, although Scapegoat often sings instead. As such, even those who strongly dislike rap music will likely find themselves enjoying themselves, mainly because the music relies more on the guitars than the rapping and the beats.

Unlike many albums of the same vein, Swax is fun throughout - it doesn't just lean on one or two notable singles. Tunes like "Lost Cause" and "Freeway" are funky, guitar-driven tunes that will get you dancing in no time. Other tracks, like "Crawlin" and "Space To Share" are more emotional and downbeat - they serve to ground the album, adding a bit of a break from the more fast-paced, energetic songs. And then there are the perfect party tunes, like "Bloodsweet" and "Aisle 10 (Hello Allison)," the former of which uses a very effective "House of the Rising Sun" sample (or at least that's what it sounds like.)

Scapegoat Wax have achieved the perfect balance - their tunes are catchy and fun enough to become mainstream hits, though their style is still fresh and creative. This is an excellent combination in a world where radio-friendliness and musical integrity don't exactly go hand in hand. Here's to them becoming the next big thing!


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 songs + computer music video, distributed everywhere, released 2002]