Sextile - Albeit Living

by Jason Atkinson Rating:7 Release Date:2017-07-14

Sextile is a band with style. It starts with the name. One hopes it is a reference to sex—and reptiles. Sexy reptiles that get it on by any means necessary. Failing hot reptiles, one hopes that it might be a type of textile that portrays sex or is used in the sexual act. Finally, there are the conventional definitions of Sextile in the fields of astronomy, astrology, and statistics. These are boring and can be seen online at dictionary.com. I hope that Sextile didn’t choose to name itself based on those definitions.  

What I know for sure: the band members look cool and the music sounds fresh. I also know that they live in LA and that this is their second album, a follow-up from their first release called 'A Thousand Hands.' These albums are released through a record company called Felte Records. For one of their videos, they filmed exclusively on VHS tape. Disappointingly, the video did not depict reptiles having sex. 

Some say their music sounds like Joy Division. Sextile buries vocals in the mix, so I can hear that. I also hear echoes of Bauhaus, Cabaret Voltaire, The Mission, and Kitchens of Distinction. Others say their music sounds like A Place to Bury Strangers, but, to my ears, Sextile seems a little more restrained than that. The album takes off like a racehorse with the driving 'One of These.'  Simple vocals like 'I want more/I feel good' (exactly what a sexually active reptile would sing, btw) punctuate the military drums and repetitive guitars and synth. 'Who Killed Six' is a little more downtempo with a sharp snare drum sound followed by a series of high energy tracks that fuzzy vocals, simple synth patterns, and distorted guitar. 

'Sterilized' is more experimental than the other songs. Vocals come in later here; the extended introduction didn’t quite pull me in. 'Das Cat' is reverb soaked with electric guitar ostinato. 'Situations' has great drive and a female voice on backup vocals while 'Crisis,' in my mind one of the best songs of the album, was nice to hear so late in the collection. Things wrap up with 'AVC'—which sounds a little bit like Ministry meets Joy Division meets The Human League. 

Sextile is full of, for lack of a better phrase, piss and vinegar. It’s not the shit vinegar that you get at the local market—it’s good stuff, the high end. And that’s exactly what you want from a reptile that likes to fuck.

Have a listen. Buy the t-shirt, too.  

Sexual Reptile

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