Boomkat Product Review:
XXL is the acronymic moniker of American Jamie Stewart (aka Xiu Xiu) and Italians Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo, Marco Schiavo, Paolo Dellapiana and Roberto Clemente, better known as Larsen. The rabble have managed to pull it together before on the lovely 'Ciautistico', but now they're back and more refined than ever having developed a closer friendship and a more fluid working relationship. Apparently the disc was recorded in two weeks of sessions in which Stewart travelled from the USA over to lovely Europe where he proceeded to absorb the history and beauty and let it dictate (to a point) the music he would create. Learning about the terrorism in Italy in the '70s he realised that what was happening in his home country was not a recent phenomenon and he began to see things in Europe he had never seen before, which resulted in some highly charged sessions with the Larsen folks. Political or not however, what we end up with is a stuttering collection of leftfield pop music, occasionally leaning towards electronic experimentation and occasionally bounding into Larsen's well-rehearsed brand of post rock, often accompanied by Stewarts 'love em or hate em' vocals. Thankfully I've grown to appreciate his voice, and I must say it blends perfectly with the abstract instrumentation on 'Spicchiology' working like an alternative texture or blanket of measured ambience above the flailing guitars and crunchy percussion. Sure not to disappoint fans of either act (or the last album) 'Spicchiology' is a well-formed sophomore effort and an intruiging listening experience, give it a try! The first 1000 copies even come with a bonus disc of Live studio sessions so be quick and you get two albums for the price of one.