>> Xiu Xiu departs from course once again to deliver an even crazier, more uncomfortable, and sonic experience.
Xiu Xiu is an experimental rock/pop band that has been consistently dropping new material since 2002. In that time, they have been pushing the borders of their sound from rock and pop elements, to completely deconstructing them into a barrage of noise that could probably be best described as the indie rock approach to Death Grips. This latest release, 'Girl with Basket of Fruit,' could not be any more apparent of this. This record sounds and feels as if Xiu Xiu has taken their sound and just thrown it in a blender. These songs feel less like songs in the traditional sense, and much more like a journeying experience for the listener. In many of these cuts the instrumentation just starts blaring all over the place, with varying sonic aesthetics blasting from every direction. The biggest strength of this project is Xiu Xiu’s uncanny ability to make the listener feel exactly as intended- and in most cases, this desired feeling is “extremely uncomfortable.” A fantastic example of this is the seventh track, “Mary Turner Mary Turner”, a song dedicated to the story of a woman who was lynched for protesting the lynching of her husband. The entire soundscape of the track is harsh and bellowing, completely matching the premise. The sound effects, production, and instrumentation of this whole record support its premise very well, and the project overall feels extremely calculated and well executed.
What this project isn’t is accessible. This project only going to be popular with a very select, niche demographic, and while that group is definitely going to be riveted by this project, it is hard to get into as a new listener. There are very few melodies to latch onto, and the mood and aesthetics are purposefully very disheartening. Obviously, that’s the point, and the art and noise rock direction completely serves the project, but someone’s enjoyment of this is project is entirely dependent on a preexisting enjoyment of this genre.
Objectively, 'Girl with Basket of Fruit' is certainly a well coordinated effort, but subjectively, it’s going to be hit or miss. Who you are, and what your taste is will inhibit whether or not the mind bending nature of these sounds is going to resonate with you. If you love loud, experimental, crunchy, choppy music, you will definitely enjoy this, but if that isn’t your thing, you more than likely will not. 3/5 <<