Wax Idols – No Future

Rating: ★★★½☆

It seems like a lot of bands are really channeling a nice mix between garage and punk, especially the bands coming out of California.  You could probably toss Wax Idols into that, but you’d be amiss if you just lumped them in with the rest of those groups, as the band, predominantly the work of Heather Fedewa, goes beyond just rehashing the hits on No Future.

Listening to the opening track “Dead Like You” you definitely can feel a bit of Cali guitars blasting through, but Fedewa’s delivery, as well as the call-and-response backing vocals are a bit more than that, harkening back to more innocent punk rock days, sort of like a more ballsy version of the Donnas.  For me, the biggest differentiating factor is the amount of heart and soul you can clearly see shining through the music on No Future.

“Dilno” is a fast paced track, almost ending before the track even gets going, but that’s where a lot of the Wax Idols tracks are so successful, giving you a simple, no frills approach to the middling ground between punk rock and garage music.  And come on, who’s not going to enjoy the sporadic shouts in the background.  Of course, there’s more than just nostalgic girl-punk leanings.  Just one listen to “Gold Sneakers,” the record’s phenomenal track.  It’s got everything you could ask for from a band: great hooks, catchy lyrics, and some distorted guitar to go with precision drumming.  A lot of cliche girl-core tracks just don’t ring as true as this number.

You’re also going to enjoy some of the variance throughout No Future, such as the semi-Blondie homage on “Bad Future.”  Fedewa definitely maintains a bit of that sex appeal, but you can tell she’s a touch more bratty, in the most endearing way, of course.  It’s a pleasure to see that not everyone comes off sounding as tired and bored.  Punk was supposed to be fun, and it seems that’s just what we’re hearing here.  “Grey Area” similarly takes off in the same fashion, giving a bit of grit to great pop tradition of bright guitars and pounding rhythms.  Seems like these tracks were made with a youthful vitality only achieved through spinning around in your bedroom with the stereo on high.

Perhaps Wax Idols doesn’t have the brand recognition that you’re looking for, but that’s sort of sad, as you’ll have twice as much fun jamming to this record as you would if you just picked up the run of the mill garage girl-core album.  No Future has twists and turns, and most of all, it has fun.  It’s a reminder that music can have serious tones, but doesn’t have to be tired and banal.  Let’s put the fun back in rock n’ roll, and jam to this record all night.


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