Tuesday, September 02, 2008

XX Teens
Welcome to Goon Island (Mute)
release: September 30, 2008
style: rudimentary art rock
similar: Art Brut, Louis XIV, Arctic Monkeys
[rating: *1/2] There's little charm and little to love here from the XX Teens (formerly Xerox Teens), whose half-singing half-yelping and clamor of guitar, bass and drums qualifies them as rebellious sons of veteran post-punk band the Fall. Lyrically and CD booklet-wise, the U.K group borders on the territory of the Residents. "B 54" is as strange and experimental as the lyrics: "the amputee!/she's got five legs/six legs and a croissant." The short and quirky "Only You" (not the Yaz song) is relatively accessible and will pull in some new followers, though it doesn't have enough lasting-power to be of importance by next year. The last four tracks are the only ones that go over four minutes each, including "Darlin'," where steel drums appear from nowhere and the semi-singing is all over the radar. It's not until the last two songs, "Sun Comes Up" and "For Brian Haw" (he's a peace activist) that XX Teens show potential for ditching half-conceived ideas. -Kenyon

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