WAAX’s debut LP, ‘Big Grief’, places them at the forefront of Aussie punk

WAAX’s debut LP, ‘Big Grief’, places them at the forefront of Aussie punk

Words by Tammy Walters

The four-piece have released a record packed with non-stop head-bangers.

Good things come to those who wait, and for fans of Brisbane punk quintet WAAX, Big Grief is well worth the patience.

The band’s debut album follows on from EPs Holy Sick (2015) and Wild & Weak (2017), and cements WAAX as a trailblazing act in both the Australian music and punk scenes. 

Launching with the title track, Big Grief wastes no time setting the tone for the 12-track collection of gut-punching drums, anthemic choruses, driving guitars and buzzing bass lines as it explores the chameleonic state of grief.

‘Labrador’ steps up the animalistic energy projected almost solely from Maz DeVita’s intense vocal gravel and carries across to the Magic Dirt reminiscent ‘No Apology’ and single ‘FU’.

After a powerful first quarter, the light and shade dynamic takes shape with ‘History’ and ‘Changing Face’ offering a brief interval to the hard-hitting head bangers. The acoustic ‘Changing Face’, in particular, allows vulnerability to filter through the chaos and underscores the diversity of the punk project.

‘Fade’ jets WAAX back into their element before the album winds down with ‘Last Week’ and the first half of ‘I.D.K.W.I.F.L’ before building to a big finish for the mammoth album.

The input of Powderfinger’s Bernard Fanning and producer Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam) doesn’t go unnoticed, with the industry legends taking the reigns on production.

For a debut album, Big Grief encompasses the four years of hard labour WAAX have applied to making their sound tight, crisp and fresh, and magnifies it exponentially.