Yesterday, the band fronted by Alexander Charos surprise announced the band's third full-length, Wax Fates, due on Sept. 30, 2022. The songs on the 12-track album, however, date all the way back to 2016 when the country was still paddling out of the wake of the election.
Charos described that period as a strange time for the band, which was not gigging due to an injury to its drummer, Alexander's brother Philip Charos, and the relocation of Grapes bassist Tom Dicks. Just he and guitarist Dr. Chase Swan were active in the band.
"The local scene was in transition as St Pete lost 90% of its live music venues to a wave of development and gentrification. With nowhere to perform and no rhythm section I dove into writing," Charos explained in an announcement.
But in the spring of 2018, Charos flew longtime Grapes pal and collaborator Jeremy Mendicino to play drums and trim down the list of potential album songs. They spent a week tracking drums on tape at Charos' Yoko Phono studios and when Mendicino left, Dicks flew in to track bass for another week.
"I know a few of us were really struggling emotionally so these sessions were a really great time for us to connect and be creative together again," Charos added.
Work continued here and there for a few months, but stalled due to an inability to get together and practice, then play shows. Wax Fates slipped out of view for Charos as his psych-surf band The Venus picked up steam, giving him an outlet to play and tour behind music just for fun.
Will Philip on the mend and Dicks back in town, The Grapes started playing again. Charos knew he had to finish these songs before the release of the fourth Grapes LP later this year.
"This record is old to us, but new to you. A time capsule of some of our most difficult years," Charos wrote. "Hope you dig, hope you heal, see you soon"