X – ” Los Angeles ” Remastered

Posted: April 26, 2020 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation. In 2020 – they released their first new album in 35 years, “ALPHABETLAND”. Musically, Los Angeles is almost infallible. originally released on April 26th, 1980 by Slash Records. Slash magazine started a record company and its first release was an album by the Germs. Now they’ve released a new album from X. The LP is the powerful debut “Los Angeles”. The band worked on a $10,000 budget and finished the recording and mixing in just three weeks.

They’re managed by Danny Sugarman, who also manages the surviving members of the Doors. This probably explains how Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek (a rabid X fan) appeared as a guest musician on the LP, and how the band cut a blistering rave-up of the Doors song “Soul Kitchen.” But Manzarek did far more than just put in a few guest appearances. He also produced the album.  There was Billy Zoom playing the loudest guitar, yet doing it so smoothly and efftortlessly. I was amazed at the edge and the rawness but he attacked the guitar strings with such grace and finesse. And the drummer, DJ Bonebreak, is so solid and strong and powerful..

“Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You‘re Not” kicks off with relentless immediacy as if you’ve jumped into a speeding car on a midnight tour. Doe and Cervenka trade lead vocals and occasionally Cervenka veers stunningly off course in vivid and blistering wails, a Siouxsie Sioux in Southern California. On top of Bonebrake’s motoring drums, the songs are dark and doom-laden, fiery and mordant.

X sings about drugs and violence and cruising and ennui, conjuring a mood that prefigures Hüsker Dü’s “Diane” and Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising. They stick it to the upper class with “Sex and Dying in High Society” and they finish with one of the best punk love songs of all time, “The World’s a Mess, It’s in My Kiss.” “Go to hell, see if you like it/Then come home with me”—the musical equivalent of cigarette ashes and red lipstick—the end to a wild ride through Los Angeles’ underworld.

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This is a masterpiece. In this “less fun in the new world” full of tossed together sample library un-imagination, do yourselves a favour: sit down and listen to this record in its entirety. Not only is this release an iconic example of the art of the full album narrative, it also stands as a reminder that this form of art is sadly fading.

Remastered 2018
released February 22nd, 2019

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