I first heard „The Majestic“ – as probably quite a few people – during the American Dad episode “Lost in Space”, proving once again why “American Dad” is nth times better than “Family Guy” ever was. The whole episode’s soundtrack was provided by Wax Fang’s album “La La Land” but during the episode I didn’t know that, I only hoped, prayed and pled that this wasn’t just an exclusive song for this one particular episode but an actual band. And sure it was. By the way, I wasn’t the only music nerd who had to fear that this was a one-time song.
I love everything in this episode, the Jim Henson-like “Summoner”, the story that can be enjoyed out of the context of the show and the roughly 1000 references to every cool Sci Fi movie imaginable.
Wax Fang are Scott Carney and Jacob Heustis and I have this theory that someone at “American Dad” discovered them when they were the supporting act for My Morning Jacket because this band was another featured musical guest on American Dad (“My Morning Straitjacket” to be precise).
The album is gloriously unashamed of its own theatricality. I like that. If you have an album that is so very prog-rock in an opera-setting then you have to fully commit or it doesn’t translate well for the listener. Wax Fang are not ashamed to pull all the stops. “La La Land” starts with “Majestic” and has basically every ingredient to be the start of a grand concept album. It isn’t though, at least not from what I’ve gathered. But it can be, if you want to and that’s the beauty of it. Especially musically, it all ties together, it even has interludes, songs weaving in and out of each other and if my ears don’t deceive me, one or two musical themes running through the length of the album. So – let’s just call it a concept album and be happy about it.
They even do the “The Lamb Lies Down”-like movie-show in the background. Shame, that none of them wore make-up and created an alter ego. Well, next time, maybe.
For the prog-part: I read a lot of Pink Floyd comparisons and that might be true, I am not the biggest Floydian to be an expert, but I got a little more of a more digestible King Crimson-vibe from them, a modern pop-version of ye old mad scientists of prog. Or – if you like – the early Queen (who were pretty proggy and weirdly fantasy-centred when it comes to lyrics).
“La La Land”, although lyrically very contemporary, critical and dark, feels like a long journey on a ship, with waves crushing, storms threatening, clear night skies and the scorching sun all mixed up into an epic journey that takes you places you never expected. It’s a beautiful album and the anticipated fourth album of Wax Fang, “Enjoy the Company” hopefully doesn’t take too long to be born out of the minds of these two wizards because I can’t wait to take another trip on the wild side.