Thursday, December 20, 2012
The XX: Coexist
I've heard this band referred to as dark an depressing , though suspected this English indie rock group to be low key pop ,so I had to give it a listen as a purveyor of ll things dark and depressing which are two qualities in music we will accept here I'd they are not heavy, as they can create a heaviness on thei own accord.
The first song "Angela" is breezy pop , fairly subdued, it reminded me more of a less rhythmic Everything But the Girl, could be used in any type of fragrance commercial or sappy movie soundtrack.
"Chained" now this one I had heard before as they have a video for it, the bass line is really low in the mix and breathy male and female vocals work aroun one another,while this is not as offensive as say Coldplay its a little too closely related to r&b in its melodic progression to be dark, can this be done sure just ask Depeche Mode or even the Pet Shop boys, both of whom do this sort of thing better."Fiction" the dreamy elements translated over into the guitar and the minimal beats give it space to have a haunting effect but it feels more sterile anything though this song is the best of the first three. There are too many vocal moment which comes across like lethargic U2 in their tone.
"Try" this one starts off with definite r&b inflection in the vocal phrasing, there is space left for quirky little beeps and blips, the reverbs guitar is really well recorded and sounds good ,but there is somuch space it never goes anywhere interesting and the biggest offending factor is this music has no balls, there is a way to have no balls and et away with it because of the ethereal nature of what is going on...see the Cocteau Twins, who if they ever release anything new you better believe it will be reviewed here.
"Reunion" is a variation on the same thing we have encountered a slight steel drum feel in some of the blip but no sense of drive in the song leaves it pretty boring , the chords ring out but never go anywhere, and the blips never build into anything at this point I can never tell what's a transition in the song or a new song, for a change a beat comes in midway through, I suppose this cold be down tempo or chill out, all hip ways for saying boring me to sleep.
"Sunset" I don't mind the guitar at the beginning , I do mind neither singer does anything different with their voice rather than maintaining the some non inflected tone through out. this one does bring to mind Dirty Vegas for a second, but they were a little more interesting.
"Missing" it almost sounded like the male singer was going to do something different with his voice here, but ...uh no, this song wanders with out form aside from his pseudo trip hop Bono, the guitar comes in with all it's delay and reverb floating over some pretty inane lyrics and flat synth washes. Through head phones the technical placement in the mix of everything would sound good, so it's well produced like music is supposed to be so no cookies for that.
I liked witch house when it was a thing for a second last year and from that scene stuff like Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe emerged, but there is a scare comparison as both of those ladies have more balls to their voice than this guys baritone, to say its a mope would be giving him too much credit as to emoting anything aside from his dead pan delivery.
"Tides" pace picks up into something that sounds very awkward like an eighties video game soundtrack slowed done. I know people that are excited these guys are on tour and I can't imagine how many times I would check to see what time it was with in the span of their set. I found shoving myself through the rest of the album, like eating food I knew was spoiled. I suppose I just listened to it so I cold say I gave it a solid listen , when it really doesn't matter as all the songs are pretty much variations of the same thing.
I'll give this album a two, as the sounds are good and if you combined every melody where they were almost onto a good ideas you might have one good song. So to clear things up consider this a public service to anyone who was fooled by their haircuts or them being referenced as dream pop, shoe gaze, goth or dark wave, you would only be gazing at your shoes out of boredom rather than being hypnotized. The fact this has sold pretty well and their is a lot of hype behind these guys is a testament to the power of the sheeple.