X - LOS ANGELES LP
Musically, Los Angeles is almost infallible. “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You‘re Not” kicks off with relentless immediacy as if you’ve jumped into a speeding car on a midnight tour. Doe and Cervenka trade lead vocals and occasionally Cervenka veers stunningly off course in vivid and blistering wails, a Siouxsie Sioux in Southern California. On top of Bonebrake’s motoring drums, the songs are dark and doom-laden, fiery and mordant. X sings about drugs and violence and cruising and ennui, conjuring a mood that prefigures Hüsker Dü’s “Diane” and Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising. They stick it to the upper class with “Sex and Dying in High Society” and they finish with one of the best punk love songs of all time, “The World’s a Mess, It’s in My Kiss.” “Go to hell, see if you like it/Then come home with me”—the musical equivalent of cigarette ashes and red lipstick—the end to a wild ride through Los Angeles’ underworld.
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