Wax Idols: Discipline & Desire (Slumberland)

US gothic post-punks deliver excellent second album

Released Jun 25th, 2013 via Slumberland Records / By Lewie Peckham
Wax Idols: Discipline & Desire (Slumberland) The Oakland based record label Slumberland is fast showing itself to be the leaders in putting out consistently great music. From Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s glimmering, lovelorn indie pop to Spectrals everything but the kitchen sink power-pop. It would seem to be almost out of the labels comfort zone of wistful, breezy indie bands to release this newest opus from fellow Oaklander’s Wax Idols who show themselves to be the gloomy cousins to Slumberland’s fresh faced roster.

There is black gothic heart beating in Wax Idols frontwoman Hether Fortune’s chest. Though she (and the rest of the band) hails from sunny California her musical output is distinctly grey and bleak. Lazy comparisons will inevitably be made to Siouxie and the Banshees and UK post-punk femmes Savages but dig deeper and you find influences from LA deathrockers Christian Death and the brooding, post-punk of Killing Joke. Songs like ‘When it Happens’ and ‘Sound of a Void’ bristle with punky energy and anthemic choruses while opener ‘Stare Back’ is a fantastic call to arms, its rousing chant of ‘Stare Back, Stare Back’ paints a picture a sea of hungry gig goers in a dingy venue shouting those two words back at the stage in unison.

Ending on two moodier, mid-tempo tracks Discipline & Desire shows the band’s gift for building atmosphere in their songs. ‘Elegua’ is slow burning, its walls of guitars layering and layering over mountainous drums until it ends in an epic crescendo of glorious noise while ‘Stay In’s open chords and guitars bend and break over the tribal rumble of the drums.

For days when the annoyance of the sweltering heat of summer and the tiresome sight of happy sun-drenched people make it impossible to leave the house without wanting to commit GBH, stay in, draw the curtains and play Discipline & Desire until the dark of night time and then you should probably play it again.