Wax Fang, The Astronaut

Wax Fang - The Astronaut Cover

The Astronaut, by Wax Fang, is everything you would want from a space opera: lush, sweeping, majestic, a little bit mysterious, and, since it’s about a lone space traveler who gets separated from his vessel, sucked into a black hole, and made into an interstellar god, a little bit tragic, too.

After I had listened to it a couple of times, I had some questions for the band:

Why a space opera?

We wanted to do something big and bold, something experimental and transcendental that was in accord with our tastes in art and music. A metaphysical musical adventure set in the deep reaches of outer space just seemed like a perfect fit for us.

At first I thought the three singles [The Blonde Leading the Blonde, Hearts Are Made For Beating, King of The Kingdom of Man] were independent of the space opera, but after repeated listenings to both works, the singles now sound, to me, like they should be part of the space opera. Were they conceived separately, or in conjunction with the opera? Why were they released separately?

The singles were all written long before the idea of the Astronaut came to be and, as such, have little, if nothing, to do with one another, save that they all come from the same place, that is, us.

How, if at all, does Alpha Man fit into the narrative universe of the space opera?

In my mind, each of our songs is its own microcosm. Therefore, Alpha Man and the Astronaut inhabit separate universes (or alternate dimensions of the same universe, perhaps?). But who am I to tell you what to believe?

And with that, dear readers, here is The Astronaut, in its entirety, so that you may decide for yourselves:

Three Songs From: Wax Fang

True confession: The first time I listened to Wax Fang’s tunes, it was totally because I had to find out what kind of noises a band called “Wax Fang” was going to make. I was expecting them to be either gothy and overwrought or possibly gothy and making-sly-commentary-on-subcultural-ridiculousness.

What I found is that they are neither of those things. The best way I can think of to describe it, after listening to their three new stand-alone singles, is to say they are masters of building tiny rock ‘n roll universes.

Here are the songs. Each one contains a fully formed world, built out of bold guitars and augmented by piano, strings and steady drums.

The Blonde Leading the Blonde: The opening riff is the one that hooked me and drew me in, but the whole song serves as an introduction to the depth and verve of their sound.

Hearts Are Made for Beating: A meditation on how sometimes love is a bomb that goes off in your chest. Goes well with walking around the city alone on a dark, cold night.

King of the Kingdom of Man: One minute you’re rolling along, doing the grocery shopping, thinking casual thoughts about how many eggs you might need for poundcake, and the next you have been caught in an undertow of feelings and are on your way out to sea where “out to sea” means “suddenly verklempt in the dairy section because of a fictional character.” It’s also the one where every time it starts up I think Ziggy Stardust? Is that you?


For their next trick, they’re making a space opera. I am not making this up. It’s called The Astronaut and if you’re an American Dad! viewer you heard a big chunk of it during the 150th episode. For the rest of you, be prepared to appreciate the complete work when it arrives in mid-January.