XBXRX cannot accurately be described; they must be absorbed. To call them punk, as their MySpace page does, is to belittle the complexities of their sound. Multi-faceted in the sense that they tear down the walls of modern music and reconstruct them in a cut-and-paste fashion that is still, somehow, highly listenable. This is not a bunch of kids banging out shit and calling it “punk,” this is a tight unit of experimenters who can exist on tour with Peaches just as well as with Sonic Youth (of which they’ve done both).
Wars is an assault on all fronts and it begs to be explored with an unbiased ear. The vocals of frontman Vice can at first sound like just a bunch of spastic screaming, but what’s really extraordinary about the screaming is how closely it resembles the growls of Kathleen Hanna and her riot grrrl cohorts. Suddenly this band of boys is reminding me of my teenage years, seeped deep within the angry feminist sounds of bands on Kill Rock Stars, Chainsaw, and CandyAss Records. XBXRX are these bands with better production and no tits.
This band goes beyond your average punk band. The music is loud, even if you turn the volume down low the sheer energy and chaos of the recording is going to infiltrate your ear drums. Listen to it on headphones, as I’m doing right now, and you can kiss the rest of the room goodbye. Is that the doorbell? Hell if I know.
Strap yourself in for a trip into the dirty crevices of space with a bunch of spastic boys with a fetish for ’90s grrrl rock, such is the fantasma of XBXRX.