Some people are just blessed. These folks don’t necessarily “Walk in the light” as it were, but they’ve definitely got a perpetual well of talent to draw water from. Grant Hart is one of those dudes. As a member of Husker Du, one of the 80’s most influential and righteous alternative bands, Hart manned the skins like no other. Yet on his five previous (And equally righteous) solo records, Hart has picked up the guitar and taken center stage. And we’re all better for it.
Hart loses no steam on Hot Wax, a triumphant blend of Hart’s various influences, be it sunny 60’s pop on the trumpet-laced “Barbara” or the fuzzy, garage rave of the opener, “You’re The Reflection of The Moon On the Water,” which Hart describes as “One of the most organic rock and roll songs I’ve ever written.” There’s an urgency in the opening track, yet Hart quickly levels the playing field on Hot Wax. He finds distinct melodies that not only highlight Hart’s experience in creating damn fine rock songs but also speak to what can only be perceived as an unabashed passion for his craft.
Hart’s seemingly endless supply of various rock and roll aesthetics doesn’t let up on Hot Wax, including on “California Zephyr.” Hart channels a young Bowie on this groovy gem and it serves as a perfect lead-in to the following track, the hopping and jovial “Sailor Jack.”
At 48, Hart has clearly been exposed to his fair share of great songwriters. On Hot Wax the manner in which he dips into so many different bags of tricks and comes out with a sound that is consistently fresh that ought to be applauded. Blessed and almost 50 years old, Hot Wax proves that Grant Hart is showing no signs of getting old or slowing down.
By Joshua Kloke[Rating: 4/5]