Indiana Daily Student

Xiu-gazers

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The oft-overlooked morbid and intensely beautiful angst-rock weirdos Xiu Xiu (pronounced shoo shoo) have created yet another album worth adding to your record collection. "Women as Lovers" offers up a piping-hot plate of tunes sure to take you on a taboo roller-coaster ride of utter despair and empowerment.\nFirst off, you need to know that this album includes a fairly reverent cover of the David Bowie/Queen collaboration "Under pressure," which definitely pays homage to the Starman and Mr. Mercury.\nWomen as Lovers could have been cut in half, though; only about half the songs on it are really worth listening to. "Child at arms" sounds like it took about 10 minutes to write. "The leash" just feels rhythmically awkward because the vocals are not quite aligned with the music. \nOn the positive end of the spectrum, Xiu Xiu has created some solid songs.\nThe opening track "I do what I want, when I want" sounds a lot like what Tortoise might sound like if the addition of vocals were ever made. The marimba in this song along with the strange synth lines and freak-out sax solos take Xiu Xiu into new territory.\nThe dynamics of "In lust you can hear the axe fall" are great. The band added a string section to this song that helps propel it to epic levels. Lyrics with overtones of angst and sexual taboos -- the standard Xiu Xiu fare -- are still to be found here.\n"You are pregnant you, you are dead" is filled with the overdriven drums and guitar, with surprisingly mild lyrics for this band. It might be going too far to say this, but the lyrics sound almost like something on a folk-rock album -- not that folk-rock suits Xiu Xiu poorly.\nThis album would serve well as a good introduction to Xiu Xiu's music or as just another addition to a Xiu Xiu collection. The band has touched on some new territory but hasn't strayed too far from what we expect.

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