Live Concert Photography: Wax Idols with Pop. 1280 and Decorum at Brooklyn Bazaar 3/29/17
Now if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a few posts featuring the work of the Oakland, CA/Los Angeles-based indie rock act Wax Idols. After the release of the band’s 2013 critically applauded effort Discipline + Desire, the band went on a bit of a hiatus as the band’s primary songwriter and frontman Hether Fortune spent time as a touring member of the equally acclaimed punk rock/indie rock act and JOVM mainstay White Lung — and then went through a life-altering and heartbreaking divorce, which informed much of the material on the band’s third album American Tragic.
While American Tragic is informed by the one of the saddest and most difficult experiences of Fortune’s life, as Fortune explained about the album in press notes “this is not a sad album. The whole spectrum of grief is represented here — shock, pain, anger, loneliness, and then finding a way to work through all of that, and not only survive, and thrive. That’s what I was going through. I was kind of trying to save myself.”
Fortune wrote and recorded every note and every single chord on the album, and as a result, it gives the album a deeply personal vision and point of view in which the heartbreak at the core of album single “Lonely You” is hauntingly visceral — especially if you’ve gone through the dissolution of a long-term romantic relationship, as the song evokes not just the lingering ghosts and resentments that always come up, but the sense of longing for that person, who may never be in your life again, as well as that push and pull between wanting what was known and dealing with the new, unknown, all while attempting to piece your life together. Interestingly, the material sonically sounds as though it draws from several different sources including Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, Concrete Blonde, Siouxsie and the Banshees and others.
Last month marked the release of a digital re-issue and limited release purple cassette tape version of American Tragic through the band’s own label, Etruscan Gold Records, and the reissue included a remix of “Deborah” by the band’s Peter Lightning. And along with that, the band will be releasing American Tragic‘s much anticipated follow-up Happy Ending later this year. In the meantime, however, the members of the band have been touring to support their critically applauded third album and to build up buzz for the release of Happy Ending and it included a headlining show at Brooklyn Bazaar last week with New York-based industrial punk band Pop. 1280 and New York-based post-punk trio Decorum. Check out photos from the show below.
With the release of their third full-length effort Paradise earlier this year, the members of New York-based industrial, noise rock act Pop. 1280 finds their material thematically inching to the sense of dehumanization and empty, unfulfilled promises of the bold, bright, efficient future that technology is supposed to bring humanity — although deep down we’re all certain of the overall superficiality, rottenness and unfairness of modern life, while sonically the album finds the band’s sound somewhere between stomping dance floor anthems and noisy and furious punk.
Opening the night was the self-described “gothy post-punk trio Decorum.