(Independent Release) Meth Wax is the self-titled debut from the local pop-punk project led by guitarist and vocalist Daniel Tanghal. From an instrumental perspective, the album is a contender for one of the best punk projects of the year. In their best moments, like on pre-release single “Gravity Bong,” Meth Wax show a knack for blending pop melodies with an irresistible, scuzzy punk sound that calls to mind Jay Reatard or Ty Segall.
The problem with Meth Wax comes when you try to engage with their lyrics. While it’s clear that Tanghal can construct a decent pop refrain, the majority of the songs here range from nonsensical to occasionally offensive and off-putting. “Pheromones” and “Sea of Blowjobs” are two particular embarrassments, with lyrics that could caption an unsolicited 3 a.m. dick pic. It feels like needless aesthetic set-dressing for a band that has enough talent to not have to try and shock people.
There are signs of a better future for Meth Wax in songs like “Goodbye” and “Verge of Destruction,” which deal with themes of grief and inner turmoil and strike a more engaging note than the rest of the album. If Meth Wax hits upon more original topics and stops cribbing from the old pop-punk playbook, they can turn into something special.