Review: XP8 - A Decade of Decadence
XP8 had a great remix on the newest Aesthetic Perfection CD that I really enjoyed, but I had never taken the time to go out and buy any of their CDs. I really wish I had now. 10 years later, XP8 really impresses me for a band that I had never heard. There is a lot of really good elements in the music that directly appeal to me.
I was sent the newest EP “A Decade of Decadence,” this morning, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. If you have been reading this blog, you should know by now that I like dance, 4 on the fucking floor, industrial and have a soft spot of screamy aggrotech/HarshEBM. What you don’t probably know, is that I love early 2000’s Futurepop. I have a big closet hard on for old VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk because I came from a mainly techno-based background (explains a lot huh?)
XP8 “A Decade of Decadence” is a shining example of cross over industrial. Now, what I mean by that, is that they have a lot of traditional elements housed in Futurepop of the early 2000’s mixed in with scoring aggression. I hear a lot of Apoptygma Berzerk in there in both the music style and the vocal style – and not full on Harmonizer Apop either – more 7 Apop.
There is a lot of jumpy synths and standard beats, and epic choirs and dancing – it’s really a flashback for me. I think it’s really excellently put together. I’ve been looking for a band to replace Apop in my collection and I can say that XP8 has filled the void for me. Songs like “Bullet Hole” and “Decadence” are just trips down that perfect lane when you were first learning to dance by watching everyone move and feel on the dance floor, awkward and shameful you kept with it, and before you knew it you were mouthing the words not giving a shit about everyone else. That’s how XP8 makes me feel – like I want to get out on the dance floor and feel the music extremely loud.
There is something to be said about Futurepop that I like, because there is a lot of bullshit out there, especially right now (VNV Nation you cocks.) I’m pretty snobby about Futurepop specifically because it is really easy to mess up. But songs like “Burning Down” and “Wake up!” transition me nicely from the HarshEBM I am known to push here. “Burning Down” has a lot of darker tones and distorted vocals – a good way to trick your purist friends. What I would call the title track, “Decadence,” takes the album for me though – very emotional in that proud way, but still could work on the dance floor. Really good synth work and layering for this one.
Overall, I would suggest XP8’s “A Decade of Decadence” for anyone who likes early Apoptygma Berzerk, Glis, Cesium137, GASR, and to dance. This would also be one of those bands that you could take your girlfriend to and enjoy yourself too (which is hard to do unless your girlfriend has an affinity for angriness.) I know that I will now be going back into their collection and checking out some previous releases. I am thoroughly impressed.
[[Also, as an afterthought, For your information: this is a collection from a decade of music…in case you didn’t get that.]]