Xiu Xiu is rarely an easy listen. Think back to 2004’s Fabulous Muscles and abrasive tracks like “Support Our Troops” “OH! (Black Angels OH!)” and “Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version)”; both presented real-life content upstanding members of society would rather push under the rug and pretend doesn’t exist. Yet “I Luv the Valley OH!” was a bright spot with a memorable melody and rhythms that could get inside your head.
“Stupid In The Dark” follows the progression of the latter. It has a beat. It is catchy. Yet there is plenty of thematic counterculture unpleasantries and horrid darkness that keep it far from the mainstream.
You taught me a lesson.
People are stupid in the dark.
People are useless in the moonlight.
People are meant to be loved.
Loved without thought, loved without thought.
In the moonlight.
Yet unlike Fabulous Muscles, Xiu Xiu’s new album Angel Guts: Red Classroom doesn’t seem quite as shocking and morose. The themes remain morbid and cast with an underlying reminder that evil prevails throughout the world, but it’s a bit more subtle.
Shock value comes in other forms. Just check out the video for “Stupid in the Dark”, which depicts the murder of an ungrateful lover.
Angel Guts: Red Classroom is out now on Polyvinyl Records.