Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Xerxes: "Collision Blonde"

"I was wrong " opens the album more like an intro than an actual song as it drones over the same chug  and chant. "Criminal Animal" displays there interesting mix of post- hard core and screamo, that is even dosed in darker indie rock. The vocal go from spoken narrative to screamed hardcore.This flows right into "A Toast" almost to the extent this could be a continuation of the previous song until the bass comes in to carry things. Though they keep a very similar mid tempo.

There is a Fugazi/ slight post-rock vibe to "Knife" . The screamo vocals bring it to a more early 2000's place. You start to get a sense of what some of the bands favorite plot devices are when it comes to song writing at this point. This doesn't take away any of the album's charm as they have really captured some great sounds. They dip into some almost cold wave like electronic sounds on "Take a Directed" which is an impressive way for the band to dip into a darker side and expand their emotional range out of the cathartic explosion of post- hardcore.

They even flirt with a more organic rock n roll sound on "Chestnut Street" that reminds me a little of the Refused. The title track takes this rock vibe on a darker turn like something the Police might veer off into if they were bitten by a rabid wolf. The title track has an almost Fugazi like syncopation to it , but a more Sunny Day like dark introspection to the bass line that carries it on this moody journey, that despite being the sum of it's parts is not emo. Though "Exit 123" that follows takes a much more traditional screamo path. The drummer must really worship Fugazi, which is fine as it is certainly a noble aspiration. Not sure how I feel about the spoken word narrative to "(but here we are)". The music underneath it is cool if it would progress into something more dynamic, it seems like a good idea that didn't get fully realized, those the lyrics to this ditty are impressive, so it's a mixed bag.

The album closes with the heavier and smartly written "Nosedive" that blends most of the elements that have worked for them up to this point and throws them into one punk tinged song. I'll give this a 9 as all the songs pretty much work for me but the spoken word thing, which I deleted from my itunes so I don't have to worry about it or it's clever lyrics that deserved something better to sit upon. If you kike screamo at all this is a album to check out.


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