"Collision Blonde" (No Sleep Records; 2014)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Xerxes are contemporary hardcore --  a new label, I guess. The lead yeller, Calvin Philley, says this about his vocal delivery: "An uncomfortable record to listen to, even for him." I'll agree. It's painful, he's all over the map (the Louisville, Kentucky map that is). Philly's just turned 21 years old and he's miserable. You can tell it in his voice -- his angst, his disgust for life; he makes me want to nibble on a shotgun. Gawd, this stuff is insufferable!

The music is heavy but clean. It's got some direction and it's interesting enough. Fans of The Cure would dig the music but they would hate the vocals. I could only muster one run-through. After that, I had to decompress with about three hours of silence. Calvin's voice just killed me. The track "(but here we are)" is the only one he doesn't scream on. If the music was better, I'd dig it, but it's really just Philley talking over a bass line.

Xerxes: Calvin Philley - vocals; Will Allard - guitar; Joseph Goode - bass; Ben Sears - drums.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/xerxesband and http://xerxesband.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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