Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Exxasens-Eleven Miles review

This post sort of fits into our occasional randomness bits, where we like to explore new music by tagging a certain band we have been following.  This has evolved into a fun little series as well.  Where this post differs is that I will be offering a full album review of the new release I have discovered.

Exxasens has an interesting band name.  I am often not a fan of gibberish band names, but for some reason the letter 'x' says hard core.  If then, your band name includes back-to-back 'x's, it screams 'fear me' from the top of some place very high.  I actually kind of dig that.  That said, this band's name is probably not complete gibberish and has a very real, easily definable origin.  Though I'm not hept to such an origin, I stand by my comment that I kind of like this band's name.

This band brings a certain sound quality that is similar in some respects to If These Trees Could Talk, but instead of wallowing in screeching guitar leads bent on scrambling the brain of the average listener, Exxasens add a certain flair of mainstream hard rock and even some metal riffing from time to time.  This makes for a very diverse listener that had me wondering a time or two if my iTunes player had suddenly switched to playing Pelican.  Don't get me wrong--indeed Exxasens doesn't sound much like Pelican at all, except for the some proggy moments scattered throughout the album. 

One of the latter tracks even introduces a sludgy, repeating riff and rhythm without so much as hinting at doom.  I'm not much into sludge metal, but I found myself enjoying that track just as much as all the others.

As with most post-rock albums, there are no vocals to speak of, unless you count the understated, barely audible spoken word segment on the final track of this album.  In retrospect, the beginning of the last track seems to qualify as filler material, but the band makes up for it by concluding with a cascading crescendo that is both uplifting and crushing.

I downloaded this release after listening to half of the first song, because I knew I had found something I would enjoy.  In my mind, this is right up there with the wonderful If These Trees Could Talk album, but also showcases something more, something few post-rock bands dare to touch on.  Below is the full album stream, courtesy of the Exxasens bandcamp page.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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