03.07.13 — “When it Happens” by Wax Idols

Wax Idols

If you only listen to one song today, make it “When it Happens” by Wax Idols (2013, from the forthcoming album Discipline and Desire).

Wax Idols is a post-punk/goth-pop quartet from Oakland, California. In the autumn of 2011, they released their debut album, and their sophomore album will be released on the wonderful Slumberland Records later this month. This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year on that label, and it should bring them a lot of new fans once the album comes out.

If you listen to tonight’s song, you might think that Wax Idols are from the wrong decade or the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean. All of the reference points are to English bands from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The easy reference is Siouxie and The Banshees. If you listen, you can also hear influence from early The Cure and even Joy Division.

Just take the first line from tonight’s song for example.

I was dancing alone at the edge of the world

I was listening in on phone calls to god

Yeah. If that’s not London 1979, I’m not sure what is. Except that it’s Oakland 2013.

While the first Wax Idols record was pretty much a singular effort by Heather Fedewa (better known as Hether Fortune), this new record was very much a group effort.

I can’t lie and say that I’ve known about this band all along. I only discovered them when Slumberland Records started their promotion of the presale of the new album. I listened to about 30 seconds of today’s song, and I immediately pre-ordered my physical copy of the album. Details about that in a bit.

Here, without further ado, is today’s song:

“When it Happens” by Wax Idols

It’s so dark and damp and powerful and driving. I love it.

I also love how the rhythm guitar in the first verse is played sort of like it’s a bass solo. Higher, of course, but it makes me think specifically of a Peter Hook bass solo. All while there’s an actual bass solo dancing beneath it. During this same bit, the drums are quite a bit busier than they first sound. They’re worthy of your attention. There’s a lot of tom fill, and I’m always a big fan of that. There’s also a bit from 2:30 to 2:50, just before the last chorus, where there’s even more of that busy/tom-heavy drum bit.

The chorus is an absolute explosion of sound, and it’s really infectious. I really can’t get enough of this song, and I can’t wait for the album to release.

The album comes out on March 26, and Slumberland has just opened the pre-order. Go here for details. The packaging looks absolutely amazing. Shaun Durkan from the phenomenal Slumberland band Weekend did the artwork. Weekend, by the way, should have a new album out sometime this year, but no details have emerged. Anyway, here’s what the packaging for Discipline and Desire looks like:

That two-tone vinyl is stunning. It’s a limited edition, and they’re limiting it to two per customer. So get yours quickly. Or buy the CD. Just buy a physical copy directly from Slumberland.

Wax Idols will play at SXSW next week and will follow that with about a dozen shows across the United States between late March and late April.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

4 responses to “03.07.13 — “When it Happens” by Wax Idols

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