• xiu xiu A Promise (CD, £15.50)

    label: 5 Rue Christine

    California gloom-bringing anti-popsters XIU XIU. Ten tracks of goth-esque release fleshed out with orchestral passages, strong dynamics, sophisticated, violent crashes and house music/dancefloor feelings. Includes a cover of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," some guest bumming from AARON RUSSEL (THETEETHE) and CHES SMITH (JOHN ZORN, GOOD FOR COWS), and an overall more depressing mood than anything the band has attempted prior-including, one would surmise, suicide. Limited edition vinyl pressing packaged screen printed sleeves with artwork by ROB FISK (Free Porcupine Society).

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