“Angel Guts: Red Classroom” by Xiu Xiu

February 04. 2014 | By Cervante Pope


Xiu Xiu
Angel Guts: Red Classroom
[Polyvinyl Records]

The beginning of Xiu Xiu‘s career was like a blessing sent from the avant art gods. Jamie Stewart’s whiny croon had a drug like lure that coupled with provocative lyrics and interesting sounds to back it, appealed to exactly what you needed musically at that time. Sadly, Xiu Xiu’s prowess for appeal isn’t at all present on Angel Guts: Red Classroom. The dreary screeching of unnecessary feedback present in every song plus the bleak subject matter (like suicide and physical harm) attest to the demise of Xiu Xiu’s playful intent to shock. Instead, the album sounds more like death’s soundtrack.

The album has an even darker aura about it than those of the past, with the only standout song being “Black Dick,” for obvious reasons. Essentially everything expected of and appreciated about Xiu Xiu is no where to be found. Instead, the album begins and ends with nothing but noise, with what off the first (second, and even third) listen appears to be one long, repetitive song in between. As a long time Xiu Xiu fan it’s saddening to think that Angel Guts: Red Classroom is the beginning of the end, but after listening to it there’s not much more to say.

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