“[i]If you are wasting your life, say ‘Hi’/If you are alone tonight, say ‘Hi’[/i]” (‘Hi’) may be as direct an opening gambit as they come, but it cuts straight to San Jose synth-punks’ Xiu Xiu’s core. Often shocking and consistently, unapologetically direct, every word and note here is positively swollen with meaning – from Jamie Stewart’s quivering, broken vocal on ‘Honeysuckle’ to the harrowed orchestration of ‘Black Drum Machine’.
But instead of preaching from the martyred pedestal of artistic alienation, underneath the despair (and ‘Always’, as always with Xiu Xiu, is riddled with despair) is an open hand; we might all be screwed, but at least we’re in this together.
- Director: Greg Saunier
- Record label: Bella Union
- Release date: 27 Feb, 2012