INTERVIEW: Wax Heart Sodality | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Austin Tweddle

Wax Heart Sodality having been making a riot since 2019, developing a sound rooted in mania, noise and upheaval that is shaking things up across the North East.

From the second the band walk on stage, each donning a wonderfully kitsch masquerade covering their face, their physical presence is as ominous and oddly foreboding as the music they create.

Having supported Walt Disco on tour, performed at high profile festivals including Stockton Calling and Whitby Goth Festival, and enjoyed extensive BBC Music Introducing airplay, the band are finally ready to drop their self-titled EP on 1st September, the day before they play at Darlington’s Last Train Home festival.

Quipping that their masks “liberate us from our societal form, removing any shackles that might inhibit our performance”, this sense of dismantlement is as equally pushed in their music, with lyrics tackling sloganism, elitism and classism. This dedication to strip away society’s veneer is as interesting as it is important, especially when these themes are paired with a barrage of sound like the one that booms from the EP. “Some may argue that to acknowledge or to dwell on the darker elements is of little benefit, but darkness needs to be acknowledged if we are to truly appreciate the light.” They explain.

Our curious minds crave to know the unknown and as a result, our aroused imaginations run wild

Drawing comparisons to Bauhaus, Interpol, Joy Division and Danzig, Wax Heart Sodality have created a sound that revels in despair, dwelling on life’s inconsistencies and pairing it with a soundtrack of noise and escalating mania. From the chopping guitars that kick off Lick Skin/Taste Win, to the crescendo of sound that concludes it, the track traps the listener in its own world, with a unique twist on desperation – taking the perspective of those looking up from below the glass ceiling who lack the gloss and resources needed to get on and pleads, almost in a Dickensian manner, for the tiniest flavour of that success. It reeks of resentment, despair and maybe a little envy! With previous single Live, Laugh, Love having a waft of romanticism about it, various strains of gothic fantasising decorate the release, from the hopeful to the hopeless.

The EP is loud, dramatic and unrelentingly harsh in every respect, and there is a potency that looms over each track; an inescapable atmosphere the band manifest that crawls deep into the listener. Shrouded in mystery and menace, the band feel at every turn like ordinary people turning themselves towards the surreal. Real, mundane issues get contorted into these absurdist caricatures and the music blossoms into behemoth proportions. “We’re not art students or well-known musicians, we have no prestige that will bring reverence.” They explain. “We’re human beings under all this glitz and glam that adorn our bodies. We think it helps people try and figure out the complex experience of life in its many shades. Our curious minds crave to know the unknown and as a result, our aroused imaginations run wild.”

Wax Heart Sodality release their self-titled debut EP on 1st September. They perform at Last Train Home festival in Darlington on Saturday 2nd September.

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