MXLX: ^_^ – album review

mxlxMXLX: ^_^ (FuckPunk)


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MXLX’s latest sees him return to the world of noise. Simon Tucker enjoys the carnage.

Are you ready for the new MXLX album? You better be because this isn’t an album you go into lightly. It is destructive, symphonic, bleak…and really quite beautiful. Three tracks. 40 minutes and an experience that once you’ve tasted it you will be hard pressed to return to normal living.

^_^ is a succinct and well orchestrated trip into the psyche of MXLX. Fearful, feared,  slithers of warm light breaking through the album is, at its heart, very humanistic. Don’t be fooled into believing that this is just hiss and static, it is a rich and deep experience as underneath the layers of delicious chaos lies the heart and pulse of what sounds like a church organ (it most probably isn’t) and the hymnal sounds of a choir (it most definitely isn’t).

The lines here are blurred, borders non-existent as chaos swirls around you there is a deep and transcendent core that keeps you anchored. This is most apparent on the second track To Bollocks With You.. (full track title below) which starts off very genteel like and atmospheric before we scrape the guttural core of our being with a grinding, nihilistic, rampaging metal. The sound of indecipherable rage and pure blisters, a slashing at the throat, TBWU is pure black of heart and unrelenting in its passion and drive.

The b-side to ^_^is one track. 18 minutes long. Sounding like you’re eavesdropping on someone meandering around a house, the sound of a plane traveling overhead. People leaving, people going to experience life before the dam breaks and you are utterly smashed with squall and torrid noise, reality pulling your feet back onto the ground not letting you daydream about where you could be going or where others are headed. You’re headed inwards, no passport required. This is twist and turn, see your pain see YOUR PAIN. There is someone here with you. He can be heard muttering something into your ears. Serenity breaks and there he is. Turns out the mantra is real and touchable. You were put through the past to get to here now. The journey and pain were worth it because what lays behind the peeling and rusty curtains lays a land of widescreen and of technicolor. Safety and warmth.

^_^ is at times bruising at others delicate but what is a constant throughout its 40 minutes running time is a sense of abandonment and of exploration. Buy the ticket, enjoy the ride, just don’t panic when it gets dark for there is a light at the end.

Full Tracklisting:

A1) These Are Hammers In Motion What Obliterate Completely The Morose Walls of our Own Failure, The Tumult Of Which More Sonorous Than Any Bastarding Trumpet

A2) To Bollocks With You, Scum-Sodden Malcontent! I Blistered The Path Myself! My House Is Uphill, It’s An Airship And It’s Fucking Wicked M8

B) Magnificent UpFuck For The Most Totally Joyousest Motherfuckinest Sweet Eyes You (hahaha wheee!)


FuckPunk can be found via Facebook and Twitter where they tweet as @FunkPunkFuck

MXLX can be found via Facebook  and Twitter where he tweets as @timetemple

All words by Simon Tucker. More writing by Simon on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Simon on twitter as @simontucker1979


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