"Their second one sounds like Siouxsie and The Banshees" Zach Braun of Random Old Records said... And that was OK with me. I’m a Banshees fan. The Scream (Polydor, 1978) is a great released. Packed with shrieking vocal pops and cracks and pounding drums, The Scream was post-punk before there was post-punk. Since all of the tracks compromising The Scream being written during the bands formative years during the initial London punk-rock outbreak of 76/77, the album is different. There’s urgency behind it. However, the quick follow-up Join Hands (Polydor, 1979) fell a bit short with me personally and shown digression or progression (depending on how you look at it) into a more gothic, dark and ethereal sound that the band would build upon. Whereas Join Hands (and the next three full-lengths) has its good moments, it paled in comparison to the mighty impact of The Scream. So when I went back thru the recent additions to the new/used vinyl at Shake it! Records and accidentally found Wax Idols' Discipline + Desire, I was a bit taken back. I could only give credit to the divine because I hardly ever-- in fact I cant remember the last time-- I cruised through a bin of records hunting for a find and went back through them for whatever reason. So Zach Braun’s comment, in conjunction with actually finding this record, seemed meant to happen.
My re-turning of No Future (Hozac, 2011) was pleasant. Great album. Great sound. It's a modern classic. The dystopian lyrics seemed to catch my ear more closely than before. Just like great bands/songs/Albums it only gets better. My preliminary assessment held true. Earlier views on No Future held solid LAMF. I still highly recommend it.
Initially, Discipline + Desire frustrated me. I can’t remember the last time I had to 'work' to get an LP's small hole onto the pin of my trusty turntable. Yes, the record was 'used' and the vinyl looked brand new, but there’s no fucking way anyone actually listened to it. It took a pen and knife in conjunction with my few disappearing talents as a working class zero to get it on my turntable.
Discipline + Desire (Slumberland, 2013) didn’t initially hit me as the great find I initially hoped for. Yeah, it has moments but I didn’t hear bits of Siouxsie and The Banshees flavor of The Scream nor the feel of Join Hands. No Future appeared to be as comparable to Scream as Discipline was to Siouxsie and The Banshees on a fictional album that could be placed in-between The Banshees Join Hands (Polydor, 1979) and Kaleidoscope (Polydor, 1980). That is, if Robert Smith hadn’t pulled double duty touring with a disintegrating Banshees line-up as well as The Cure and 'saving' Siouxsie and The Banshees in the process. Imagine if Smith had disbanded The Cure and stayed on as guitarist for The Banshees... Would that have been better? Worse? The same? The only answer I can choose from those three questions is different. Siouxsie and The Banshees may have been too ambitious for their own good. In-between touring, recording and releasing albums. Time and development may have helped this band gel and stick together. .Just for reference, JuJu (Polydor, 1981) is the last Siouxsie and The Banshees recording I would deem as listenable.
When you’re writing about music, sometimes the most important thing isn’t if something is good, or bad because all of that shit is relative. What matters is that you know what you are getting yourself into. What matters is you put it in simple, easy to understand real talk. Music reviews should be. First and foremost, short, to the point and solid. Like a twitter post#. Short fragments to allow the readers brain to become curious. These are all rules that I break because I’m more of a music enthusiast than reviewer. I have the nasty habit of giving topics the space to flex out and let me say what I want to say. I’m too damn expressive for my own good sometimes#. My writing is an in-depth exploitation of a short Thesis that always starts with the band name. My writings are ‘Why?’ expanded beyond fever comprehension. Length is relative to you, not me.
See? There I go again.
Discipline hit me with less of a punch than expecting. I think you have figured that out by now, but that’s OK. This band can’t keep pumping out record after record like No Future. Whether skill and ability caught up to The Wax Idols or if a producer’s image and/or vision led to Discipline being this way, I applaud them. Touching on Early 80's Siouxsie sound and adding a touch of the Cure and "Riding on the Metro" era Berlin and just a slathering of Missing Persons thrown in for good measure, Discipline found a good spot with me. More so than anything else, I’m wondering what’s next? Anytime you ask that question about any band, you like them and that’s saying a lot.
#2 This is the review as I should have wrote: Wax Idols Discipline + Desire stretch their previous release with sonic referencing to post-punk & new wave sounds. Different but note-worthy.