Who needs the Rage reunion with XBXRX around? Of course, that raises the bigger question of who really needs the Rage reunion. Zach de la Rocha and Tom Morello and the rest will certainly rekindle allegiances in their old fans and make new teen converts, but those who've matured beyond raging against machines are likely to be less interested. Same goes for XBXRX's Wars.[more:]
When I was in my early teens, I would've eaten XBXRX's music up. All the screaming. All the guitars wailing like dental drills about to spontaneously combust. All the warnings that, no, it won't be okay. All the rage directed at hazy targets such as "forced orders from above." But anyone who looks for more in music than one-note, no-fun punk will find Wars excruciatingly long -- and it's barely a half hour.
The band -- which formed in Mobile, Alabama in 1998, when its four (anonymous) members were barely in high school -- is to be commended for its adept handling of sudden tempo changes and song modulations. Even within XBXRX's very short songs, a lot of things happen. Sometimes the tunes splinter into three or four distinct sections. But technical competence alone does not good music make. Wars contains none of the fun and sense of humor that made Be Your Own Pet's debut from last year one of the best punk records in a good while. And nothing is worse than a humorless punk.
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/xbxrx"Center Where Sight" MP3
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