"...that cover of Queen & Bowie’s Under Pressure with Michael Gira is an absolute tour de force; and obviously a vast improvement on the original."
Xiu Xiu - Women as Lovers
Good LP this; spiky, committed and full of sharp edges, it’s the first Xiu Xiu LP I’ve really connected with. I always found their muse too wayward and deliberately cussed. For my money there’s less wilful artifice in the song structures, which in turn gives the LP a strength and consistency that previous releases seemed to lack. It also helps that the opener I Do What I Want is a cracker, a brilliant door-opener that never really lets up in intensity, despite the overall quietness of the track. By contrast In Lust You Can Hear the Axe Fall is a full-on snarl. And that cover of Queen & Bowie’s Under Pressure with Michael Gira is an absolute tour de force; and obviously a vast improvement on the original.
At times this LP is really reminiscent of John Cale’s Music for a New Society; F.T.W. and Guantanamo Canto share the dreamy otherworldliness of Cale’s work. There are some beautiful acoustic moments too, such as Black Keyboard. And of course there are intense work outs, such as the brilliant You Are Pregnant You, You Are Dead and strange tracks such as Child At Arms. But still, this LP has a breadth of vision and an openness that stuff like La Forêt didn’t seem to have.
Worth a listen at the very least.
Words: Richard Foster