Fat Possum, 2020

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Here’s something interesting: X’s first album since 1993 and their first with guitarist Billy Zoom since 1985(!). A quick blast that’s over in 28 minutes, it’s impressive considering the band’s collective age and the fact that they seemingly haven’t lost much of their classic spark.

Two songs are remakes of demos from the late ’70s-early ’80s that had previously only been available on Rhino expanded reissues of the first two albums. Those songs are just okay but they provided the match to go and make a whole record so they can’t be bad. “Water & Wine” is one of the best songs here; the vocal interplay between John Doe and Exene still sounds as great and exciting as it did 40 years ago when my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Los Angeles came out.

The album opening title track is a slow burner that if it wasn’t for Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake, the song might be a bit boring. Those two are some of the most fiery and powerful musicians I’ve ever heard, punk or not. The fact that Billy is about 72 and has beaten cancer and can still play like a mutha makes it all the more exciting. Just listen to him on “Delta 88 Nightmare”; Jesus. Billy is from the old rockabilly school which basically means that you keep playing until it’s a physical impossibility; let’s just hope we’ve got him for many more years.

Some tracks like “I Gotta Fever” aren’t particularly special but hey, it’s X. How many other classic punk bands do you know that managed to reunite their original lineup and have released new music that can get old and new fans excited again?

Closing tracks, “Goodbye Year, Goodbye” and “All The Time In The World,” are two interesting dichotomies. “Goodbye Year” is a nifty little rocker that showcases all of the best things X have always been capable of. “All The Time In The World” is a spoken word piece by Exene that doesn’t do much for the band, the audience or the record. But overall, there is enough here to recommend and the fact that we have X again, making music should be enough to satisfy the naysayers.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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