Thursday, June 14, 2007

He's got big balls...and she's got big balls! (Two sophomore albums, brought to you by the month of June)

X27 - Antilove - Narnack Records

Antilove's the sophomore album from X27, a rock trio whose energy depends on whether its rough vocals are carried by female bassist Carmen X or male guitarist Rikkeh Suhtn. Admittedly, Carmen's forced rock yelps get to sound a bit overly affected, and she hasn't built up enough of a reputation to get away with singing like a Karen O/Kim Gordon hybrid as of yet, but she fares decently when exercising restriction, as is the case with the majority of songs here. Vocals aside, the album's generally saved by its bare-bones, classic late '80s/early '90s-style garage grunge setup. Slinky opener “Da-na-do” sets an easy tone for the record, and on its own has a sort of inverted formula, turning the repetitive “da-na-do” chant into a verse while the rare set of lyrical lines is placed where a chorus would be. On the whole, Antilove is an experiment in post-punk beats (“Come On Down”), Melvins-style aggression (“Luna”), and Shellac-meets-Nirvana grunge (“Red is Green”); it also sounds to be one giant nod to Steve Albini, who produced the record in Chicago and has quite the knack for leaving each instrument sufficient room to breathe. Not one of the most original records to come out in a while, but one of 2007's more exciting rock records thus far.

*Also, any band that thanks Langhorne Slim and pink bunnies in its liner notes receives a thumbs-up in my book.

Purchase the Antilove re-release here.

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