|Wax Idols — American Tragic (October 16th, 2015)|
Wax Idols — American Tragic (October 16th, 2015) •≡♠ V čem tkví Americká Tragédie? Román Theodore Dreisera jsem četl v roce 1975 a poznamenal můj náhled na Ameriku na celý život.
♠≡• Dreiser transformuje každodenní všední předměty na symboly. Clyde Griffiths? Morální a fyzická zbabělost, nedostatek zábran a sebekázně, zmatený intelekt a rozostřené ambice; navíc, vliv jeho úlisného (Dreiser používá slovo ‘soft’) sociálního chování staví pokušení před něj způsobem, jakému nemůže odolat. Končí na elektrickém křesle.
•≡♠ Wax Idols svým výrazným, svěžím zvukem vyjádřili, co ještě nebylo řečeno. Bez hlasu a vizáže Fether Fortune by nedosahovali svého cíle tak efektivně. Album patří k tomu nejlepšímu, co Modern West Coast Amerika dnes nabízí.
•≡♠ Pokud post–punk a garáž je v západním pojetí TOTO, tak propast je ještě větší, než jsem si myslel. .... Bay Area band whose sound evolved from lo–fi punk to darkly anthemic post–punk.Formed: 2011 in San Francisco , CA
Location: San Francisco, CA
Album release: October 16th, 2015
Record Label: Collect Records
1 A Violent Transgression 3:34
2 Lonely You 4:47
3 I’m Not Going 4:55
4 Deborah 4:19
5 Goodbye Baby 5:36
6 Glisten 3:49
7 Severely Yours 4:11
8 At Any Moment 3:39
9 Seraph 4:10
•≡♠ Shaun Durkan Design, Layout
•≡♠ Hether Fortune Art Direction, Composer, Producer
•≡♠ Greer McGettrick Cello
•≡♠ Dustin Senovic Art Direction, Photography, Vocals (Background)
•≡♠ Rachel Travers Drums
•≡♠ Monte Vallier Engineer, Mixing, ProducerAllMusic Review by Heather Phares; Score: ****
•≡♠ On Wax Idols’ third album American Tragic, frontwoman Hether Fortune remains as unafraid of change as ever. When the project recorded its 2013 breakthrough album Discipline + Desire, it was as a full band hailing from San Francisco; this incarnation of Wax Idols is a duo (Fortune and drummer Rachel Travers) from Los Angeles. American Tragic’s title hints at the wider scope, symbolic imagery, and more accessible feel of these songs; where Discipline + Desire’s angst was intimate and confrontational, this album writes it large. One of the few constants between this album and its predecessor is the involvement of producer Monte Vallier, but his collaboration with Fortune often sounds wildly different than before. Even the forays into Discipline–style darkness are sleeker and, well, more disciplined, whether on the icy, industrial–tinged “Glisten” or “Violent Transgression,” where “Hey/It’s violence” is a catchier chorus than it has any right to be. Indeed, much of American Tragic is remarkably poppy, at times feeling like a darker response to the ‘80s AOR revival popularized by the likes of HAIM — or, less controversially, a continuation of Concrete Blonde’s throaty, tough–but–vulnerable drama.
♣ “Lonely You” wraps its hooks in a glossy late–‘80s sheen, while “I’m Not Going” could be kissing cousins with the Motels’ “Only the Lonely.” This more traditional approach makes Fortune’s songwriting all the more subversive: “I could be your god,” she sings on the radio–friendly “Severely Yours,” and delivers a timeless–sounding breakup song in “Goodbye Baby.” While some fans might not like how drastically different this album is from Discipline + Desire, the way Fortune wails “I’ll still do anything, anything for love” on the excellent closing track “Seraph” proves that the passion in her songs is genuine, no matter how she expresses it.
•≡♠ You could say that a lot has happened since the release of Wax Idols’ critically well–received 2013 album, Discipline + Desire, and if you’re steeped in the shorthand of music criticism go-to narratives, it would be dangerously easy to get reductive about what happened next: The band’s singer–songwriter, Hether Fortune, supported the album as best she could, spent some time in 2014 as a touring player in White Lung, went through a heartbreaking divorce, and then sat down to make American Tragic — the band’s long–awaited third album and first for Collect Records. But that’s not exactly how it went.
•≡♠ “Divorce is a part of this record, yes, but this is not an entirely sad album,” Fortune explains. “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, but thrive. That’s what I was going through. I was trying to save myself.”•≡♠ Indeed, this is not only a deeply personal record, but a chiefly independent one: As a songwriter and true multi–instrumentalist, Fortune wrote and recorded everything but the drums on American Tragic — a feat only bolstered by the album’s compelling performances and meticulous execution, but a little known fact nonetheless. Co–produced by Fortune and Monte Vallier (Weekend, Mark Eitzel, The Soft Moon, Vaniish), the only other player on this record is drummer Rachel Travers. But it’s also a meditation on an idea that Fortune has been playing with over the entire arc of Wax Idols’ discography, and that is the notion that personhood is neither fixed nor consistent: We can be independent and attached, in need of discipline and desire, or even fully autonomous with a little bit of help. As Fortune points out here, even America, for all its symbolism and mythic value, also rests in tragedy.
|Wax Idols — American Tragic (October 16th, 2015)|