Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
There is a concern for the heart in the songs of the David Wax Museum, a great concern. It seems as if there's nothing more important to protect than that beating rock inside. If Wax could knit a bulletproof stocking hat to guard every heart from evil, he might take that challenge and make his fingers bleed with those needles. There are jalopy hearts that are spoken of, and others, many of which - no matter how they're referred to - carry all kinds of baggage and tend to have weary, weary rings under their eyes. They droop and they sag. They feel the weight of much, being as dinged up as they are. We're given a chance to hear them as the slightly sunken tombs, though their tales are sung with fondness. It's not sad that they've come to be what they've become. Most of it was inevitable and justified, we get the feeling. It's what hearts are meant to be exposed to and some take it better than others.
Wax sings here, in a new session, "Give me something so good and true that it hurts," and it carries right along those same lines that led to analysis above, after the group was last through these parts, prior to earning some much-deserved mainstream exposure. He deals with the rub and the friction of everything, of everybody. He sings about someone having something he calls "thermostat hands," which run up and down his spine. The glaring omission in the description of those hands is that we're not sure if the mercury is rising or falling and therein lie the breaks. It's tolerable to find oneself slumped down in lukewarm water or air. It's not horrible, but it's also far less than great. You're always wanting to throw some hotter water into the mix. This comes with certain repercussions. You accept them. It all cools for certain reasons as well. Wax and his Museum make music that snakes up and down that sensitive spine, wrapping around those lucked into, heavily worn hearts, telling us what's being felt and seen from any number of lookout points.