If you're looking for creepy, semi-mystical, manically paced music, The Mars Volta does not disappoint. "Wax Simulacra" takes a spot on their album The Bedlam in Goliath, which details a bizarre story inspired by the band's Ouija board. (No, really.)
But this song is by no means simple. Even the title stumped us at first – what does "simulacra" mean, anyway? It just means "likenesses," so "wax simulacra" might be something like those wax figures you see of celebrities. But if this song is about imitations, what's being imitated? The more closely you look at the song's obscure lyrics, the more questions you're likely to have. So if you're intrigued, fear not. Just keep reading.
About the Song
The Mars Volta
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Adrian Terrazas-Gonzales, Pablo Hinojos Gonzalez, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, Thomas Pridgen
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
When we get into territory this strange, creepy, and symbolic, we've got a name we just have to throw out: Edgar Allen Poe. You've probably heard of "The Tell-Tale Heart and "The Raven," and if you say those didn't scare you at all, we think you must be lying. But those stories are pretty straightforward. "Wax Simulacra" is more like his poem "Dream-Land," for example. Its speaker travels through a dark and otherworldly landscape haunted by spirits, bad memories, and glimmers of false hope that turn out to be just more spooky weirdness. Sound familiar?
On the Charts
The Bedlam in Goliath peaked at #3 in the US charts.
"Wax Simulacra" won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.