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Discipline & Desire

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Wax Idols

Discipline & Desire

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

It seems odd that the four-piece Wax Idols reside in Oakland, California. Especially considering the fact that the band's sophomore LP, ''Discipline & Desire,'' out March 26th on Slumberland Records, embodies a dark, full, twisted sound: something that feels more appropriate to the foggy, damp British climate than that of sunny California. But that's Wax Idols -- zigging where other might zag, and always going their own way. Compared to Wax Idols' debut LP, ''No Future'' (a raw, hook-heavy punk effort written and recorded primarily by Fortune in 2010/2011 and released on Chicago's Hozac Records), ''Discipline & Desire'' is more a group effort as the band -- Jen Mundy (rhythm guitar/vocals), Amy Rosenoff (bass) and Keven Tecon (drums) -- contributed to the recording and writing process. Fortune dedicated herself to this record for over a year and the band were right there with her, playing with pattern, melody and stretching themselves beyond the comfort of unassuming hooks and into a darker, new wave territory. ''Discipline & Desire'' was produced and engineered by Monte Vallier (of Half Church and Swell) and co-produced by Fortune. Mark Burgess (of the British outfit The Chameleons) worked alongside Wax Idols & Vallier as an extra pair of ears and even played bass on the album closer, ''Stay In.'' Together they've crafted an album that's sleek and focused without being slick, and dark and intense without being at all humorless. ''Discipline & Desire'' builds on Fortune s debut full length effort in almost every way, rounding out as a far more complete record. The melodies are stronger, the vocals echoed and haunting, and the playing is at an unflagging level of intensity. First single ''Sound of a Void'' is a storming, full-throated late night anthem, while ''Dethrone'' and ''When It Happens'' shimmer and throb, perfect examples of Wax Idols' unique take on pop. Slower numbers like ''Scent Of Love'' and ''Elegua'' mesmerize and entrance, and the feedback-laced ''AD RE:IAN'' is nothing short of a masterpiece, punctuated by bursts of special guest Kristin Dylan Edrich's noise viola. Album closer ''Stay In'' wraps up the album perfectly -- a mid-tempo melodic gem with a killer bassline and an uncanny balance of melody and atmosphere. This is an inventive, brilliant record which solidifies the fact that Fortune is one of the best songwriters hiding in the shadows of the other California, where the sun doesn't always shine. But, judging by this fantastic album, she and her Wax Idols won t be hiding for long.


Wax Idols underwent some major changes between the release of their debut album, No Future, and its follow-up, Discipline + Desire. Leader Hether Fortune enlisted a full-time band to support her, and also revealed her involvement in the fetish/BDSM community as a dominatrix. These developments make the album's sound more understandable, but no less dramatic: No Future's shouty, somewhat samey punk has been replaced by pitch-black post-punk. "Stare Back" opens the album like a slap in the face, with Fortune's vocals recalling the frosty hauteur of Siouxsie Sioux, Romeo Void's Debora Iyall, or Adult.'s Nicola Kuperus before her as the song slashes and crashes with a fury that would have been unthinkable on No Future. Granted, the post-punk revival wasn't exactly strikingly original by the time of Discipline + Desire's release, but Wax Idols do sound far more authentic and passionate here than they ever have before. Fortune's presence is never less than commanding, whether on the abrasive yet catchy "Sound of a Void" or softer, more expansive songs like "AD RE:IAN" and the lovely album closer, "Stay In." These songs, as well as "The Cartoonist"'s angular rock and "Elegua"'s churning balladry, show that Wax Idols have a much wider range in this incarnation than might have been expected. A skillful balance of harshness and beauty, Discipline + Desire is a welcome reintroduction to a band that is among the best at keeping this sound not just alive, but vital.

Additional Information

Artist Wax Idols
Track Listing 1 Stare Back - 3:17 2 Sound of a Void - 2:58 3 When It Happens - 3:31 4 Formulae - 2:10 5 The Scent of Love - 4:34 6 Dethrone - 3:35 7 AD RE:IAN - 4:17 8 The Cartoonist - 2:47 9 Elegua - 3:53 10 Stay In - 6:42

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