XTC — The Big Express
(Caroline CAR 50692, 1984/2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1984-11-02
I confess a weakness in reviewing XTC. I've liked all of their previous records. You might say I'm prejudiced, and it's no surprise I like the new release. But after all, it is a very good record and has much to offer even those who didn't like XTC before or haven't heard them. This band has showed a great stylistic variety on their last few albums. From the folksy bounce of "Love on a Farmboy's Wages" to the African flavor of "Living through Another Cuba," they bring their offbeat humor and creativity to everything they record. Composer Andy Partridge describes "All You Pretty Girls" as a Chinese sea shanty. "Shake You Donkey Down" is a sort of electric hoedown. "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her," in addition to having one of the year's best titles, features a beautiful melody in a sad, bleak setting. In general, this album is less mellow than the last two from XTC. Acoustic guitars are still common, but not dominant as was the recent trend. The rhythms are more harsh and jarring, reminiscent of their first four albums. XTC may even have a hit in here somewhere (I'm too much of a fan to pick one song), and I'd like to see them have some commercial success on this, their seventh album.
(This review originally appeared in Daily Evergreen, the student newspaper at Washington State University.)
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more