LA’s SEXTILE's sophmore album 'Albeit Living' is out now, the album title, inspired by a Circle X song, means in-spite of living and sets the tone for a politically charged, introspective album of impassioned observations on our world today.
Opener 'One Of These' is a dark electro-pop track, the video features camera work & projections by Cloaking and brings together the band’s infamous visceral live show with imagery capturing the vast industrial sound that underpins this striking new record.
‘One of These’ is a tirade on the feelings frontman Brady Keehn experienced during his personal struggle with addiction and escapism, is empowered by these suitably impassioned & urgent visuals.
'Who Killed Six' has an almost Joy Division-esque driving bassline and clearer vocals, a menacing punk attitude laid over the menacing guitars.
The album moves on becoming more industrial sounding with 'Ripped', the dark and primitive early industrial feel could be the soundtrack to some grand movie where the machines have evolved, with their own language of disdain while 'Floored' has a more dancey in feel, making you imagine just how imposing that wall of noise would when seen live.
'Mental' is another great driving track that leads you through with a strong rhythm, bass and drums driving the track forward while the sound effects, vocals and guitar add interesting interplay and again a visceral punk feeling. 'Sterilized' has a darker, plodding, atmospheric cleverly textured sound, while 'Das Cat' screams with real sense of movement, continuing the album along on its winding intricate journey to great effect.
'Situations' starts off with an unfolding electro wall of noise and a drum beat reminiscent of The Fall's 'Totally Wired'. "The song came to me while I was on my way to steal groceries, a period of my life where I struggled financially and that I am not too fond of” explains Brady Keehn. “While on the way, I started thinking about all the other weird situations I had been in through course of my life. I started singing the melody, recorded to it my phone, and there it is, 'Situations'."
Fading in, the next track 'Crisis' builds into a thick texture with stop-start changing layers while 'AVC' exudes pure evil ... more industrial and cleaner in sound and another reminder of the variety on the album.
There are moments when the album echoes a fuzzier Devo, it sometimes has Joy Division's slower pace and driving bass-lines, with splicings of later Nine Inch Nails and The Horrors which is a testament to the varied interesting and intricate sound all of their own. We were left entertained but with a forboding feeling, the atmospheric walls of sound are all passionately spun into a dark imaginary world where the machines are the new disaffected - set to take over the world - and they aren't happy about what we've done with the place ...