Albeit Living art

Album Review

Sextile  –  Albeit Living   (Felte)

CD/DL/Vinyl 

Out Now

Despite a less than glowing review of their debut back in August 2015, LA trio Sextile sent Ged Babey their new album… the world is now ready for their synth-punk guitar-screamo he seems to think.

 

When the opening track sounds like something halfway between Jesus Built My Hot-Rod (Ministry) and Sex Unter Wasser (D.A.F) and yet still sounds exciting and new and like nothing else currently around, well, you know you’re listening to a great album.

Sextile have come of age.  Hypertense and hypnotic, dark and vitriolic, primitive and retro/modern. They sound like the underground in America should sound in 2017.  Angry, fucked-up, yet with a plan…

Albeit Living is ten, dark, delirious slices of  art-punk, robotic-anti-rock’n’roll. Only two exceed the three minute barrier.

‘Ripped’ sounds like a Giorgio Moroder track playing on a ghettoblaster – being fed thru a meat-grinder – whilst being shot at by a squelchy-sounding ray-gun, just as a racing-car accelerates… and the chorus is “Death to the Fascists..”. Yeah, might sound ludicrous in print, but have a listen.

 


‘Who Killed Six’, front man Brady Keehn  says is about his first synth – the Korg Polysix – which ‘died’ when he was writing the song; hence the name . “When it came time to write lyrics, I wanted to tie in similar words that are descriptive of electronics with my view on our social, economic and political climate.”

‘Situations’ is almost pop-music. Like the B52’s from Hell, or Devo on smack…. scrub that last one, but the band actually sound like they are having a bit of fun at the exorcism.

Das Cat is an inadvertent echo of A Different Kind of Tension by Buzzcocks with great Mo Tucker style drumming.

There are no 4/4 time signatures or blues scales on this album.  it is Post-Rock’n’Roll Anti-Matter. The electronics and guitar-noise battle it out still, but on this album there is more strategy than freeform chaos.

The reference points are still their from Suicide to DAF, no-wave to minimalist synth and Digital Hardcore even – but Sextile have found their own identity and a niche where they are the fucked-up royalty.

The cover art is the most striking I’ve seen all year too.

I don’t think I was wrong to be a bit dismissive of their first album… but I know I’m right when I say this is one of the best albums I have heard this year to have come screaming out of the USA.

 

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All words by Ged Babey

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.

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