Thursday, March 12, 2009

Merge to release Wwax compilation

Mac McCaughan's pre-Superchunk band (which also featured Brian Walsby on drums and Wayne Taylor on bass) has become a bit legendary in its own right. In honor of the label's 20th anniversary, they're going to release a compilation of their works. Here's the info from the press release:

As part of our 20th Anniversary year, we are clearing out the Merge vault! Like It Or Not is a compilation of casettes and 7" releases from Mac McCaughan's pre-Superchunk band, Wwax. Like it Or Not is available exclusively as a digital download in the Merge Store. Stay tuned for more Merge classics re-issued digitally as 2009 continues!

Mac's description:

This is a collection of all the studio recordings that Wwax made, all done at Duck Kee Studios on Bickett Blvd in Raleigh in 1987 and 1988. Tracks 1 & 2 were released by our friend Steve Skrzyniarz on his label Leopard Gecko out in Tacoma. The next seven tracks came out on Merge in a double 7" format. The Songs "All Begins Again," "Just Like" and "Misinvite" were originally released as part of the 7" box set Evil I Do Not To Nod I Live, a collection that also included records by Egg, Slushpuppies, Black Girls, and Angels of Epistemology. The last two tracks were on a Wwax cassette that was Merge's second release ever. They include a Saccharine Trust cover we did live, plus the demo of the song "Seven" that we recorded at my house and that I always preferred to the better-sounding studio version.

We took turns singing the songs in Wwax, but they all bear the mark of Wayne's idiosyncratic sense of timing and Brian Walsby's uncanny ability to keep up with him. The sound is also shaped by the fiberglass Ovation Breadwinner guitar that I borrowed from Wayne and played exclusively through his tiny gray spray-painted Peavey Champ, which achieved a brittleness I've not been able to capture since! This is the first digital release of Wwax songs other than a couple stray tracks here and there, and it's strange to hear recordings that are certainly artifacts of a certain era that's not hardcore but not really something else specific either...which is how they sounded then, too.

1. Pumpkin
2. Inn Town
3. Seven
4. Like It Or Not
5. Straw Man
6. Corduoroy
7. Grows On Trees
8. Price of Gas
9. Counting Thoughts
10. Beachworld
11. All Begins Again
12. Just Like
13. Misinvite
14. I Am Right (live)
15. Seven (demo)

Wwax was:
Wayne Taylor - Bass / Vocals
Brian Walsby - Drums / Vocals
Mac McCaughan - Guitar / Vocals

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