Sextile - Albeit Living
As a stable fixture in the Los Angeles underground, Sextile has been gaining a devout following since its creation in 2015. The four-piece outfit has all the makings of a revolutionary sound ‰ÛÓ boldly throwing convention out the window to create an entirely original, genre-bending imprint that combines the raw energy of 70‰۪s punk with the intricate and sophisticated structural elements of 80‰۪s post-punk and synthwave. Sextile‰۪s first release, A Thousand Hands, had a signature sound that was a dark and primitive form of rock n‰۪ roll, a blend of surf punk, early industrial, and post-punk marked by heavy use of distorted guitar feedback and primal drum beats against a backdrop of violent energy. The album caught steam with each flailing, chaotic performance and, responding to demand, the band played endlessly around the Los Angeles area. When Sextile assumes the stage, the band members truly draw energy from the air, electrifying the crowd to the point where the stage and the venue feel as if they might collapse at any moment. After hunkering down in a basement in Echo Park to record for a couple weeks, Sextile is back with their sophomore LP, Albeit Living. The album is a testament to the band‰۪s growth in the songwriting department and effort spent fine-tuning their burgeoning compositional skills: the synth is in the forefront on this album, allowing it to shine through more powerfully than we saw on A Thousand Hands. Despite its more sophisticated sound, the album manages to match and even intensify the seductive energy of their live shows and debut album. The ten-song LP is a strong statement as a follow-up to their primitive debut, and while it re-defines Sextile‰۪s sound, the real impact the album has is the way it decisively breaks the rules and guidelines set out by conventional genres and strives to create something truly unique and genre-altering. The album launches abruptly, pulling you almost instantaneously into its orbit of hard-hitting uptempo drum beats, haunting synth hooks, and enough guitar feedback to make Kevin Shields blush.