I could start off with a catch-all like "shockingly good songwriter" or "eclectic artist," and while that would partly describe Hamilton's Wax Mannequin, it would do the man a great disservice to leave it at that.
This one-man band has such impressive control over the musical subtleties he tinkers and fucks with that an album like Orchard & Ire deserves to be listened to several times to allow everything to sink in.
It's no surprise that Mannequin has shared the stage with projects like Frog Eyes and Arcade Fire, whose dramatic style resembles his. However, with a voice that sounds like Nick Cave and Tom Waits alternately kissing and biting each other, old Waxy veers off in overtly theatrical directions while retaining a grounded rock sensibility, as on Robots, Master And Lady, where he almost conjures up something like Cave covering Biohazard at a Mr. Bungle tribute night.
Strange? Absolutely. But with all its meanderings and side roads, Orchard is a beautiful work rich in melodic structure and personality.
Wax Mannequin plays Saturday (June 30) at the Boat.