XV: s/t LP (Life Like, 2019)

October 16, 2019 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

XV: s/t LP

Lo-fi trio XV (Claire Cirocco, Emily Roll, Shelley Salant) play short, direct, rudimentary songs which each focus on a limited amount of thoughts, hammer away at them, and then drop them and move on. It’s not aggressive enough to be punk, and it’s amped up enough so that the snare drum constantly vibrates, but it isn’t harsh enough to be noise-rock; it’s abstract, but it’s also very specific. It’s super in-the-moment and raw to the point of being nervous and uncomfortable. A lot of the songs seem like one hook or a few keys words bashed out and repeated several times, but closer listening reveals some more involved, hypnotic arrangements that might not register on first listen. The second side starts out with the nearly free jazz ruckus of “What Did You Do Today?”, which is so manic that one of the channels repeatedly cuts out. Echoed sax playing augments most of the remaining songs, including the patient, interlocking progression of “Feeling” as well as the more jubilant “Hair”, which features the memorable chant “I had a crush on both Aladdin and Jasmine!” The album ends with a brief, unlisted bonus track which is more jumbled and unhinged than the rest of the songs, and it might actually be the best track on the album. Limited to 100 copies, available now from Life Like.

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