‘Albeit Living’, the second album from underground LA band Sextile, is a curious, frantic oxymoron – a joyously angry, politically-charged celebration of the absurdity of living in the present day, with a distinctly ’70s punk feel. The synth is the standout instrument on this record, deliberately given top billing as Sextile refine their signature sound in the wake of their debut album, 2015’s ‘A Thousand Hands’. And it works: this is sound-centred song writing.
The track titles are weirdly onomatopoeic (‘Ripped’, ‘Floored’, ‘Mental’ and even the poetic ‘Who Killed Six’), capturing the aural energy of the songs they describe in a way that makes me feel these works were composed right in the midst of the visceral experiences they convey. I am not surprised to learn that frontman Brady Keehn used his personal experiences of addiction on the opening track ‘One of These’ – an intense tirade about his personal struggles and attempts to escape. Despite its retro-feel, this intense, impassioned record feels achingly current; a dark, optimistic battle cry for these uncertain times.