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If Bay Area rockers Wax Idols won converts with their powerful, Gilman Street-style punk rock, Discipline & Desire will launch them into the stratosphere. Eschewing No Future‘s awesome punk-rock crunch, leader Hether Fortune has dived straight into a post-punk sound that is as slinkier and more seductive than anything the band’s done before. But one shouldn’t necessarily be surprised; No Future‘s closer “Grey Area” was a lovely foreshadowing that left this writer hoping that she would explore that element more on further records. Guess what, she did! She ditched her old band, hired new members, and transformed her band into a very fine new thing. Discipline & Desire, with its This Mortal Coil meets Black Tape For A Blue Girl style cover, serves its contents well. Melodies that recall such notables as The Cure (“Scent of Love”), A Certain Ratio (“Stare Back”), and Echo & The Bunnymen (“Dethrone”) are heard throughout, yet Wax Idols are very much their own band; these songs are performed in a powerful, assertive way that could only come from Hether Fortune’s mind. Don’t think this is necessarily a “goth” record, either; it’s very much a pop record, as the songs glisten with a (black nail) polish and sheen that leaves you coming back for more. The maturation of Wax Idols is indeed a pleasant surprise, and Discipline & Desire is quickly rising on my chart of great records of 2013.
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