Amanda Cheng, frontwoman and bassist for industrial, art-punk trio Wax Chattels, is Hoklo Taiwanese and a first-generation immigrant.
As someone who has been through that experience, I can certainly relate to what Cheng is expressing on the Chattels’ new single, “No Ties.” Only those who have been through such an experience would fully be able to understand it. There’s a deep sense of alienation that comes with immigrating. The first-generation gets hit the hardest, as there is still a direct connection with the old country through the parents. The disconnection from extended family, belief systems, and language are all too real for the person who is basically the guinea pig in this scenario. The parents never seem to be quite prepared for the transition and are usually at a loss when it comes to handling the psychological baggage of their kids’ experiences. All that said, art, such as what Wax Chattels have created in their song “No Ties,” can be an effective outlet for all of the mixed feelings brought on by such an experience.
The artsy music video for Wax Chattels’ latest single is eye-catchy. It has a great mix of geometric-style design, idiosyncrasies you would find on a VHS tape, and quirky video-art. It doesn’t appear to be a big production, but it’s incredibly creative and fits perfectly with the band’s art-noise output.
The music of the Chattels’ is raw but not pushy. There’s a beauty in its chaos. The analog synthesizer soothes your ear in the midst of the industrial pouncing brought on by the rhythm section. Amanda’s bursts of haiku-style poetry blend in well with the poetic noise generated by the instruments. You can hear a wide range of influence, including Suicide and 90s noise-rock bands like Deerhoof. This is what good art is all about.