Wax Idols

It’s been more than two years since fearsome post-punk group Wax Idols released their last album — the haunting and alluring Discipline and Desire — a hiatus that has left the band’s fans clamoring for new material.

Fortunately, that break is nearing an end, as the Hether Fortune-led contingent is set to release American Tragic on October 16. The album will come out via Collect Records, a new label for the band, which formerly played on Slumberland.

Fortune and company will hit the road to support the new album, starting with a record release party at Bottom of the Hill on October 18.  The 12-date tour will take the group through the Midwest and back, eventually ending with a November 8 performance at Complex in Los Angeles, the new home of Fortune (Wax Idols are yet another example of a promising Bay Area band that has opted to leave for the sunnier and cheaper confines of Southern California.)

While Wax Idols’ songs have always been dense, serious affairs, the new singles released so far from American Tragic have an even more somber tone to them. Fortune recently endured a painful divorce, adding more gravitas to her recordings (although in a press release for the album, she said that American Tragic is about more than just her breakup.)

The latest single from American Tragic, “Deborah,” begins with a cacophony of claustrophobic, menacing synths, but gives way to shimmering guitars and Fortune’s clear, focused vocals, providing the song with an almost dreamlike quality. The lyrical content of the track is pretty bleak, with Fortune conceding, “Now it comes as no surprise/That every beginning, I only see the end.”

There is beauty in these dark creations, though, as Fortune — who wrote and recorded all the music on the album except for the drum parts — ultimately sounds triumphant, striking a defiant tone to those who wronged her. Expect to see that same boldness for the band’s always-intense live shows.

Wax Idols, Them Are Us Too, Screature
Bottom of the Hill
October 18, 2015
8:30 p.m., $10