Xiu Xiu : Women As Lovers

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/xiuxiuwomenaslovers.jpg" alt=" " />Pushing the band's catalog further into cozy obscurity, Xiu Xiu's sixth album ranges from desolate to explosive.  ...
8.1 Kill Rock Stars

Women As Lovers features mechanically rabid highs and deflated lows as if it were a musical told through the wildly bipolar workforce of an industrial factory.  Eccentric and forward-thinking, this is as powerful as any Xiu Xiu album to date.

Women As Lovers begins with the quirky rhythm of "I Do What I Want, When I Want" with Jamie Stewart’s breathy vocals coasting over a small army of xylophones and whimsical sound effects.  Momentum builds on the next track, "In Lust You Can Hear The Axe Fall", where Stewart becomes frantic while splashing drums seem to chase him.  The acoustic guitar of "F.T.W." is some of the most "accessible" effort Xiu Xiu’s produced, as the tracks proceed abruptly.   "No Friend Oh!" has the energy of a metallic carnival that fades in and out.

The cover of "Under Pressure" on Women As Lovers is a welcome choice, as it intelligently conveys the sound of Bowie/Queen as much as Xiu Xiu themselves.  Jumbled, stuttering rhythms and a flailing saxophone are just some of the slick enhancements.  The following two tracks represent the softer side of the album before the energy picks back up on "You Are Pregnant You, You Are Dead" in a glitchy stomp.  "The Leash" has a wonderful, rolling beat mixed with electronic melodies and noise, while the next track, "Child At Arms", unleashes a maddened outburst in a natural, but deep, contrast.  "White Nerd" is a spasmodic anthem, and the final track, "Gayle Lynn" is a glorious, fanfare-deserving exit.

As complete as any album with more spread between its extremes than you can easily find, Women As Lovers is an amazing journey.  Xiu Xiu shows off their mastery of the mechanical with as much power and subtlety as ever.  

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