Kentucky’s avant-garde rock band Xerxes will release their highly anticipated new album,Collision Blonde, on October 21st via No Sleep Records. Today, the band is streaming the records’s first new track, “Chestnut Street,” at SPIN.com. Fans can pre-order the album now at iTunes (w/instant download of “Chestnut Street”) and from No Sleep Records at https://nosleeprecords.com/product/7316.
Stream “Chestnut Street” now at SPIN.com
A lot has happened in the last three years since Xerxes’ debut LP, Our Home is a Deathbed, both in the contemporary hardcore scene and in the band’s personal lives. On Collision Blonde, Calvin Philley vocally delivers feelings on an album he hopes “touches an aggressive place that I’m not comfortable with. I want it to hurt. I want it to be hard to listen to.” Philley comes across as a frantic mess about the last few years of reaching the heralded young age of 21 in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
The band’s sophomore full length is backed by guitarist Will Allard, bassist Joseph Goode and drummer Ben Sears (who also plays alongside Allard in Whips/Chains). With a new line-up and some years removed from their young, violent hardcore days,Collision Blonde‘s instrumental prowess sounds less like their elder contemporaries and more a cleaner tone reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain and The Cure, yet sharp and uneasy in the vein of Bauhaus’ early gothic post-punk edge. Tracks like “Knife” and the closing “Nosedive” are aggressively built up into a cathartic release, alluding to Ceremony, Iceage and mewithoutYou at times.
The band took a couple of weeks, held up in Allard’s basement studio in late March, to record with fellow musician and friend Evan Weiss (You Blew It!, The Jazz June) who helped co-produce the album. While the music may allude to a heavier dream pop sound, it’s still very much a hardcore record reminiscent of Dischord’s blends of punk and harmony. Collision Blonde is a lyrical wreck that’s driven by love, drugs, depression and waking up in a cold sweat wondering “What’s next for me?” on a consistent basis. It’s thoughtfully countered with a harmonic jangle of reverb, delay and hooks, as Xerxes has created their most polarizing work to date.
Xerxes will be playing a handful of dates leading up to the record’s release, including August 26th at Subterranean in Chicago where the band will be performing Collision Blonde in its entirety. Additional dates are expected to be announced soon. The band will also be doing a session with Audiotree Live on August 27th, which will be broadcast live on the site that day. Visit www.facebook.com/xerxesband for news and updates.
Collision Blonde Track List:
1. I Was Wrong
2. Criminal, Animal
3. A Toast
5. Use As Directed
6. Chestnut Street
7. Collision Blonde
8. Exit 123
9. (but here we are)
Xerxes Tour Dates:
Aug 26 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean (w/Cut Teeth, Lord Snow, Droughts)