Wax Ecstatic

Sponge

Wax Ecstatic is thematically interesting. One long, drawn out story about the various shapes of a Drag Queen. It has some really great tunes in Have You Seen Mary and Wax Ecstatic, while Silence Is Their Drug is a sleeper hit, and My Baby Said is just really really really fun.

Wax Ecstatic: Detroit’s Sponge tells a story about Drag Queens (of Memphis)

Rating

I give Wax Ecstatic a 710

Not earth shattering, but decent. I view Wax Ecstatic as being just a notch below 1994’s Rotting Piñata.

It doesn’t miss by much.

Track listing

  1. My Purity
  2. Got to Be a Bore
  3. Wax Ecstatic
  4. The Drag Queens of Memphis
  5. I Am Anastasia
  6. Silence Is Their Drug
  7. Have You Seen Mary
  8. My Baby Said
  9. The Death of a Drag Queen
  10. Velveteen
  11. Imagine You

Imagine you doesn’t exist as a track, it’s hidden at the end of Track 10 - Velveteen

Wax Ecstatic notes

My Purity

A punk song in grunge makeup.

My Purity lays on the feedback.

A call back to Plowed on Rotting Piñata.

Got to Be a Bore

Tim Cross rippin’ a Filter style bassline in the verse.

Nice choral riff.

Dueling guitar solo, one with a slide

Layered vocals.

Wax Ecstatic

Wax Ecstatic builds a riff out of guitar bends. I dig it. Solid tune.

Angelina! It’s something that is automatic!

The 90s were way more concerned with the sonic landscape than the barrage of notes found in 80s hair metal. But at the end of the day, it was still guitar driven rock.

Tight, compact guitar solo.

Vinnie really wants you to remember the words Wax Ecstatic here in the outro.

Nice Steve Vai style wah pedal laugh on the ending.

The Drag Queens of Memphis

Whoa! Slow Piano blues. Thanks, Chris Codish. You really make The Drag Queens of Memphis glisten.

Sponge showing off some diversity in their chops. Slide that pedal steel!

Strong work by Grover, Mazzola, Cross, the whole band really to see this song through.

I Am Anastasia

Say what you will about Wax Ecstatic, but it really covers a lot of ground. No two songs so far are alike. And, the album only gets better from here.

I Am Anastasia sounds co-written with Black Lab.

Let’s get lost in delay heaven together in the outro

Silence Is Their Drug

Back to the 90s grunge, but with a dollop of prog rock. Tim Cross has a great bassline rolling in Silence Is Their Drug.

Creepy pick scrapes lead up to a creepy, post-apocalyptic verse two sound. Silence Is Their Drug builds well.

Vinnie Dombroski has a signature vocal sound, and it’s all over this tune.

Have You Seen Mary

Probably the best song on Wax Ecstatic. Awesome airy piano intro. Thank you once again Chris Codish.

Great interplay between the slide guitar and the rhythm riff. Great riff.

Have You Seen Mary is a song you can put on repeat. Layers itself over time and builds exceptionally well.

Question - why was there never a man in Mary’s home?

With no other, with no other!

A lack of catchy pop tunes are why Sponge isn’t more famous. They had talent.

Interestingly enough, Have You Seen Mary made it into Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy. That marks the second time that Sponge made their way onto one of his movie’s soundtracks, the first being the song Seventeen on The Mallrats soundtrack.

My Baby Said

Once again, changing it up. Big bass.

Horns! And super fun ones. Great chorus.

Mando Dorame with the sax solo, FTW!

My Baby Said should be the sequel to The Drag Queens of Memphis, titled: The Drag Queens of New Orleans

I’m sure Sponge thanks Steve Baxter, Donald Hayes, and Anne King for their horn contributions on My Baby Said

The Death of a Drag Queen

The guitar work sounds straight off Rotting Piñata. That percussion to open the tune makes me worried. It’s done to good effect. The whole song paints a film noir fatalism - as it should, it’s called The Death of a Drag Queen.

If you close your eyes, you can see the fancy hat, the lipsticked dame, and the guns. Lots of guns.

Johnny Evans making an appearance on horns.

Velveteen

Acoustic tune. I’m not lying, Sponge covers a LOT of ground on Wax Ecstatic.

Tim Patalan supporting Velveteen on cello. Fun fact, he is now in the band.

Imagine Now

Sponge loves this chord progression. Standard Sponge song. Sounds left over from their debut album.