Friday, January 17, 2014

Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts Red Classroom


I went into this not knowing anything about the record, or the band. I still don't know much about the band. That will serve as my prologue.

I popped this baby on and came away no worse for the wear. I grew up listening to Suicide. There's nothing that music can do to me that Frankie Teardrop hasn't done already. That said, this is a really, really dark album. It's just chock full of hardcore porn and overdoses.

AREN'T YOU EXCITED? I thought you would be.

This isn't your drive home after work record, this is a challenge. Stylistically, the music sounds like (the aforementioned) Suicide, with a hefty dose of 80s/90s goth, Nintendo games, and some Bruce Haack. The strange thing is that it can actually be very delicate at times. New Life Immigration, for example, is almost a sweet sounding ballad. It's almost not menacing. Until the next track starts, oh, it's an elevator into hell.
The subject matter isn't really subtle. Dirty, dirty sex; murder; etc.

FUN FACT: The album's title comes from a Japanese porno made in the 70s, basically it's a film about a porn starlet who was an unwilling participant in a rape sequence, and who descended into prostitution. 
Honestly, I don't know if I can say I liked this album, I don't know if I'm supposed to "like" it. It seems like the band wants you to endure it. Which, this is art territory, and that's completely acceptable to me. Hell, two of my favorite recent records (Swans "The Seer" & Devin Townsend "Deconstruction") are partially an endurance test. Like those, this is worth that. Unlike those, there's no hope at the end really. Just interludes of not so hellish.

Oh god...the pigs....skip the track titled "adult friends"...nightmares.

All in all, this album will not destroy your soul entirely. Give it a listen on a dark night, alone, with noise cancelling headphones.

Shit, there's a hole in my living room floor with fire coming out of it. Here, listen to this while I go get my salts.

--Headshot



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