Xiu Xiu's Brutal Techno Shocker And Friends Below Zero's Fab Swell Maps Cover

Xiu Xiu's Brutal Techno Shocker And Friends Below Zero's Fab Swell Maps Cover

Xu Xiu, "Esquerita, Little Richard" (polyvinyl)

Successful American band Xiu Xiu are back with their thirteenth studio album, and it's the first one I've really enjoyed - although I'm sorry to say I missed some of them. The voice of sole permanent member and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Stewart has always embodied the acquired taste syndrome, and I've never been able to do that, despite trying multiple times. Stewart always felt like she was digging too hard for her PhD in "crime," but most of the time it felt unnatural.

The drama Queen Stewart's microphone scenes have always drawn me to Dramine. Lyrical complexity remains my least favorite vocal technique. He's most effective when trying to contain his anger with a grimace. Perhaps that's why Xu Xiu's frankly voice-based work flattered me more. Xu Xiu complements the soundtracks by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch with more intense vocal power; Take a look at their amazing version of The Pink Room, Sturm und Drang tops almost everyone else.

Backed by multi-instrumentalists Angela Seo and David Kendrick (Devo, Sparks, Gleaming Spiers), Stewart's career peaked with Ignore Grief . The album features Scott Walker's raw and wild tunes at the height of his career, Bish Bush . Every second of ignorance of grief - even times of comfort - causes fear. The dominant style is expertly crafted orchestral industrial doom - just think of how Nine Inch Nails wrote the score for a sci-fi thriller (e.g. True Chaos Cha Cha Cha Cha) or an episode of The Twilight Zone was pulled from production because its music incited fear. for example "666 pictures are nothing").

The track "Esquerita, Little Richard" is dedicated to two of early rock 'n' roll's most rebellious and explosive interpreters. However, the music does not sound like black musicians. Instead, he relies on his aesthetic boldness to create creepy, brutal warehouse techno, with his claustrophobic metal beats relentlessly hitting 140 BPM. Seo sings inspirational lyrics like "Tear it up, flaunt your stuff / Be low when you wake up and ignore the sadness" while spinning on the Laibach go-to-hell floor. An insane adrenaline rush begins.

Xiu Xiu performs at Vera Project with Splitt and Medium Weekend on May 3rd.

Friends of Sub-Zero, "Helicopter Sky" (Friends of Sub-Zero)

Helicopter Spies EP began sprouting in Orange County in the late '90s, the work of a KUCI coordinator named Brian McDonald (aka Friends Below Zero). McDonald eventually moved to Seattle, where he became the city's least tech-savvy brother and a DJ, co-writing magic under Lance Lokarma. These old tracks are now gathering dust digitally on the hard drive.

McDonald's recently sold this collection and focused on its bedtime music during the 2021 and 2022 pandemic. She keeps track of the totally fake releases you hear in this hilarious triple tracker.

"Newport Breach" is gritty pop in the vein of indie rock greats Lilys and the Swirlies, with a charmingly one-sided melody, tight bass and guitar riffs and choppy saxes. "Click Play Units" is a sprawling, fast-paced cartoon with weird horns, screeching drones, and a high-college vibe that reminds me of Radley's Britpop mutants - if they're from the west. coast of America.

I wouldn't call it that, but McDonald seems born to cover one of Britain's post-punk geniuses, "Helicopter Spies," Swell's most anthemic song. "Friends Under Zero" brings a fitting blur to this tsunami of fluff and lo-fi beats (by Biff). You wish the composer, Nicky Sudden, were still alive to hear such a glorious tribute.

The Helicopter Spies EP is available now digitally on Bandcamp and on 7" vinyl on May 5th. Friends Below Zero will also be released on vinyl, CD and cassette on the same day in mid-May, as well as download and performances on the services of Broadcast Others information here.

This story has been updated since it was first published - Brian McDonald sings on Helicopter Spies, not Donna Brown.

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