xbxrx Wars

Now ten years old, XBXRX have become legends in their own right. They’ve worked with everyone from Ian Mackaye to Steve Albini to Weasel Walter. They’ve released upwards of 25 records. Their live show is known as a destructive celebration, a fact that allegedly had them banned from Canada for a while. Their bizarre reputation aside, XBXRX comprise one of the strongest, most forward-thinking co-ops in independent music and Wars is their most potent battle cry. It’s also their most accessible record, though "accessible” is extremely subjective in this case. They’re still dabbling in guitar-heavy post-punk and noise but they’ve cleaned up their approach to let each piece speak for itself. The outcome is a barrage of stronger songwriting, memorable riffs, and controlled chaos. Opener "Center Where Sight” toys with some Deerhoof-isms anchored by an eruptive end-piece. Similarly, "Freezing Water” employs the kind of chaos you can dance to. More surprising is the subdued intro that builds album closer "Ear Ever Hear.” In their combination of unhinged creativity and the punk rock aesthetic, XBXRX have furthered their legacy as modern innovators in the DIY arena. (Popvinyl)