Xiu Xiu Knife Play

[5 Rue Christine; 2002]

Styles: experimental rock, industrial pop-noise
Others: Throbbing Gristle, Skeletons, Mount Eerie, The Double, Cabaret Voltaire (early)

Released in February, Xiu Xiu's debut LP Knife Play has already been recognized as one of the more interesting albums of 2002. The band's moniker is derived from the Chinese film Xiu Xiu The Sent-Down Girl, a bleak yet visually stunning work.  Lyrically, Xiu Xiu explores the darker side of human social interaction-- bleak expressions of melancholy and dissatisfaction abound. Musically, Knife Play is a sparse palette of ominous synths, accompanied by frenetic percussion and traditional instruments such as bells, gongs, horns and harmonium. Vocalist Jamie Stewarts voice is anguished, emotional, almost overwrought. To accentuate the emotional catharsis, the melancholy atmosphere is frequently broken by blasts of jarring electronic noise. Xiu Xiu's music seems to be engineered to provoke an strong emotional reaction from the listener. One is inclined to either be fascinated by the raw emotion of the music, or to be repelled by its bleak, melancholy outlook. Despite it's excessive ruefulness, Knife Play is a beautiful, spacious work, even if it's not the sort of aesthetic most listeners can easily appreciate.

1. Don Diasco
2. I Broke Up
3. Luber
4. Hives Hives
5. Dr. Troll
6. Over Over
7. Anne Dong
8. Suha
9. Poe Poe
10. Homonculus
11. Tonite and Today (What chu talkin bout)

Most Read