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Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles (Cover Artwork)

Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu: Fabulous MusclesFabulous Muscles (2004)
Kill Rock Stars

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Xiu Xiu, for those of you who don't know, is a weird band. I'm going to say this flat out. Jamie Stewart's vocals are very unique and sometimes off key. The songs feature various instruments, but the end product is definitely a form of electronica. While putting forth a new sound with intricate .
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Xiu Xiu, for those of you who don't know, is a weird band. I'm going to say this flat out. Jamie Stewart's vocals are very unique and sometimes off key. The songs feature various instruments, but the end product is definitely a form of electronica. While putting forth a new sound with intricate and interesting chord progressions, what really makes this band is the intimacy that Jamie Stewart delivers through this wavering voice mixed with the overall dynamics of their albums.

On their 2004 release, Fabulous Muscles, I don't feel the intimacy as much as on A Promise or Fag Patrol. If it were not for those two previous albums as an example of Xiu Xiu at their best, this album would have been at least a nine. That being said, let's take a dive into Fabulous Muscles and see what's inside.

From the crunchy noise riddled "Support Our Troops OH!" to the soft acoustic title track, Xiu Xiu delivers a raw mix of songs. "I Love the Valley OH!" and "Brian the Vampire" stand out as masterful works of fuzzy electronica full of driven emotion and intense instrumentation. In contrast with that, "Nieces Pieces" and "Little Panda McElroy" are softer, slower tracks packed with the same amount of emotion and intensity.

Comparisons easily made would be something along the lines of Morrisey mixed with Sigur Ros. Roughly. So don't shoot me if that's not the vibe you get. Again, this is a band that definitely cannot be done justice by reading about them. At their official website, a few tracks off Fabulous Muscles are available for streaming. Take a listen. I dare you.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thurstonXwhore (February 14, 2007)

Jamie Stewart has got to be one of the least talented artist/musicians I have ever encountered. Loser hits a button, makes a weird noise, sticks into a song that really isn't a song. He can't sing nor can he write a decent "tune." I have Knife Play and that is probably the most song oriented album he's released; it actually isn't half bad. Everything else is a complete waste of airspace.

Anonymous (November 26, 2005)

Continuing that already too-explained sexual part, he isn't even speaking of himself all the time. There's that "fast car" song, a wonderful reinterpretation of the "get somewhere, in a completely new place, just you&me, in yout fast car"-mith, and of course the Elsewhere is as awful as the place theye comes from, and the being, that calls itself " I " in that song, says about their children, who aren't seeing their fater... It's a ROLE, a woman's story, and in less obvious cases is such a delight to think about who actually that " I " colud be, and if it has any importance at all.

benz (June 26, 2005)

Awesome. So good.

-benz

Anonymous (June 20, 2004)

I'm gonna name my album "Fatherfuckeriu Fatherfuckeriu", a reference to both Peaches and Xiu Xiu. Actually, Caralee McElroy told me it's pronnounced "Sheeoo Sheeoo". Similar to "shoe shoe" but not quite the same (if we're gonna be that precious about it...).

Hey, what's up with that dikless, retarded, homphobic shit down there??? What, we're back in 1972 and nobody warned me about it?

I hope the "Fabulous Muscles" notoriety earns Jamie Stewart a Fabulous Load of 69s as well as several other sperm shooting thrills of his preference.
More power to him; more power to his cock, balls & sound.

Just face it: Odd Rox (no pun intended).

sk8punx4evr (June 7, 2004)

shoe shoe.

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

good album, but i still don't know how to pronounce this. is it like "zoo zoo"?

Anonymous (June 6, 2004)

Ah, I feel bad now. Apologies...misread that. Again, sorry.
I do see your point though...if I didn't know better, I wouldn't be able to see him reading a picture book to a bunch of hyperactive three-year-olds.

Anonymous (June 6, 2004)

no, it was just a humorous observation. he'd be the last guy i'd expect teaching children.

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

What, you think he'll corrupt their minds? Teach them about blowjobs and suicide?
Just because his music has some hard-to-swallow (no pun intended) topics doesn't mean he's not a balanced guy in real life.

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

What, you think he'll corrupt their minds?

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

i dig xiu xiu and all but i don't think i'd want jamie stewart teaching my preschooler.

Anonymous (June 4, 2004)

i dont think anyone who's actually listened to the record would consider the way he discusses sexuality exploitative

Anonymous (June 4, 2004)

richard, can you hear me?

so is this like a take on 'famous monsters'?

Anonymous (June 4, 2004)

He's bi, yes.

BSD (June 4, 2004)

So is he bisexual or is the gay thing a joke?

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

And the song "Little Panda McElroy" is actually about her-Caralee McElroy. So there you go.

yellowtrash (June 3, 2004)

I hope you guys know that the other member touring with Jaime in Xiu Xiu is his girlfriend.

Jesse (June 3, 2004)

The amount that his music is based on sex is the amount that most heterosexual music is based on sex. As I repeat, only like 2 or 3 songs are about sex on this album. If you look at any CD, at least 2 or 3 songs are about sex.

It just stands out more on his albums since homosexual sex is such a taboo in our traditionalist society.

BSD (June 3, 2004)

Just as I'm not interested in an artist who relies soley on his heterosexual sex appeal to gain interest and look different, a gay guy who depends on exploiting his sexuality is just as boring to me. Maybe if you could use a gimmick other than trying to gross out people who won't even listen to your music... Bowie already did it. Sorry.

But ten points for the reaction this would get if I put a poster of it up in my room.

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

hairy?

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

album cover scary. me so...fill in the blank byyyatch!

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

Someone needs to review Iron & Wine's "Our Endless Numbered Days." So so good!

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

do whatever joan of arc interview you want. i've heard 'em all. hell, yesterday i found the method and sentiment 7". and that ain't no hogwash.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

more homophobia please!
its so clever!

yellowtrash (June 2, 2004)

I agree with this score. This is definitely more accessible than Fag Patrol or even A Promise, but it is still good.

Jesse (June 2, 2004)

Magnetic Fields Franz Ferdinand = Pop music.

Magnetic Fields are great.

Franz Ferdinand are mediocre.

Those are not indie bands.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

Jesse write more Indie Reviews

If I wasn't so lazy i'd do some..

I would suggest - Magnetic Fields or Franz Ferdinand

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

excellent record, "I love the valley OH" is one of the best songs i've heard all year.

Jesse (June 2, 2004)

It always comes down to my sexuality...and just when I thought Punknews users were slightly becoming more intelligent...oh well.

Your comment inspired me to think of your oiled, shaved, nude body glistening in the sunlight. Since Jamie Stewart probably doesn't want to have sex with me, I'll fantasize about your anonymity.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

jesse, you're a fucking faggot. seriously, it's not about being uncomfortable and missing out on good music. music is supposed to inspire...what the fuck am i going to learn from a song about sucking another guy's dick?

go fuck xui xui in his asshole while t.a.t.u. watches and masturbates.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

sounds like pussy music to me

Jesse (June 2, 2004)

Any requests?

Seriously, I've got a pile to take care of now, and then I'll do some reviews from my own choosing.

sk8punx4evr (June 2, 2004)

what joan of arc albums will be reviewed?

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

i guess i'm alone in thinking this is xiu xiu's best record yet...i love the fact that jamie finally reconciled the weirdness with the pop sensibility thats always been present, even if it was buried under all the sex toy percussion. regardless, this band is awesome and everyone should at least give them a chance. dont let bullshit things like "oh no he sings about being gay" get in your way of enjoying good music. and if you didnt like their last records, you still may get into this one. its the most accessible yet

Jesse (June 2, 2004)

Joan of Arc will come. Don't worry. I'm just too poor to have bought any of of their records yet.

xmidipunkbastardx (June 2, 2004)

9 for the record. (10 only goes to modest mouse this year, maybe if the gratitude and jimmy eat world records kick ass, they'll get a 10 as well)

4 for the review. but it IS a hard job reviewing this record.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

Hey Jesse, why don't you get started on those Joan of Arc reviews now? Pitchfork hates 'em, so maybe you can clean up their name a little.

jheisel (June 2, 2004)

good record, shit review. i like knife play better though.

Anonymous (June 2, 2004)

genius.

"i luv the valley, oh!" is one of the most chilling songs i've ever heard.

-greyicewater

soulbleed (June 2, 2004)

can't get into this.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

jamie stewart has had one fuck of a hard life, i respect the hell out of him. this record is solid.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

fuckin, Akimbo rocks. I am forever in Jesse's debt for reviewing Elephantine.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

I didn't like their older stuff... I hated their older stuff.... I don't like Jesse... I don't like what Jesse likes... Deduction: I don't like this.

Jesse (June 1, 2004)

Holy shit! People are agreeing with me!

sk8punx4evr (June 1, 2004)

i'd agree with giving this an 8, it's damn good but not goddamn good. crank heart really sets the pace for the album, and is one of the best tracks as well. also give a listen to clowne towne.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

Definitely some hard-to-swallow subjects on here. Not only the title track, but "Brian the Vampire" is apparently about one of Jaime's students being molested by his older brother, and the family not being able to do anything about it; "Mike" is about his father's suicide. But it's definitely good. Not as good as A Promise or Knife Play, but it's easier for non-Xiu Xiu fans to take.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

God bless you, Jesse. This is definitely one of my favorite records out so far, and Xiu Xiu has now secured themselves as one of my favorite bands. Jaime Stewart is a brilliant, beautiful, and haunting songwriter. He's brutally honest and the music's a bit of an acquirred taste, but once you hear it, it's amazing. Nothing out there like this. Definitely more pop-oriented and the album to check out first if you aren't a Xiu Xiu fan yet.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

Better reviews recently.

Um...this cd is probably the best of Xiu Xiu's material, it's solid, but by no means a 9.0 that pitchforkmedia.com gave it.

Listenable, good, I've give it a 7 out of 10.

Plus you have to give them credit for being very expressive, and pushing the boundaries of music

- Greg6711

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

i'll give it a listen..... and its not that it make s me uncomfortable i just cant get into a song like that

Jesse (June 1, 2004)

Only one song is about gay sex. And it's actually only about a blowjob. toughen up. Don't miss out on good music just because it makes you uncomfortable.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

Knife Play was awful. I''m not checking this crap out.

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

i haven't heard this yet, but that's the best album cover since "deflowered" from pansy division

Anonymous (June 1, 2004)

I was thinking about buying this cd a while back, but I haven't since i heard it talks alot about gay sex.........not that im against that, but its just not my style

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