Published on Friday, 02 January 2015 19:47
Album: Any Other Way
Release date: 1 November 2014
Label: Orange Allies Records
01. Any Other Way
02. How To Make It
03. We Will Not Be Denied
04. Flesh And Bone
06. Tombstone Soirée
07. Never Felt So Good
08. The Dying Grace Of Machines
09. The Hit
10. Things That Go Bang (False Flag Mix)
11. Kontrollier Die Kontrollierenden
13. Belladonna Dream
And here's one of the biggest discoveries for me in 2014 and believe it or not I'm a bit ashamed that I didn't come across RxGF's music before, because this Seattle based act has its origins dating back in 2005. Since their beginnings they've released two albums, but known as of the group’s original crafty moniker Radioactive X Girlfriend, The Art Of Splitting (2011) and All Blade No Handle (2012). When I begun discovering their past endeavours I was so much surprised as with the name change there comes also a huge change in bands sound, venturing now away from their initial orientation in indie-driven-guitar rock, and this only shows the immense versatility of the band members. Any Other Way is in a way a new beginning for the band, it's also the first album featuring their new vocalist Angeline Schaaf, who's contribution in here makes wonders. Coming forward with kind of a specific indie/alternative attitude, you must hear it to believe how perfectly they blend and mix together various styles, it's like a crossover of many different electronic genres, new wave, dark wave, psychedelic rock, even some goth rock and industrial, but as well you'll encounter elements of shoegaze, trip-hop, jazz, hip-hop and still I believe that many other things could be found hiding in here.
Any Other Way is an album full of contrasts, it holds a perfect combination of groovy melodies, emotional outpours, ethereal ambiances, rocking energy, pop simplicity, bumping electronic samples and still everything wrapped in a kind of dark veil. As soon as it opens with rather easy going, yet nicely building up, album title track, the things get dangerously captivating, and already with the second one, pretty dark tinged "How To Make It", can make you addicted. Angeline's clean, deep and delicate raspy voice with somehow goth-jazzy style of singing is like a breeze of fresh air, making the things sound very much ethereal and even sensual, but yet keeping it powerful and melodious. When we dive further it's impossible not to be impressed by the combination of danceable electro-pop rhythms and before mentioned vocals which at certain point reminds me to a combination between Siouxie Sioux and Lana Del Rey, but this time with the addition of some male voices and hip-hop insertions in "Flesh And Bone". RxGF are often building up the compositions on groovy synth driven melodies with reverberate strong bass lines that will bring a smile on the face to all fans of Depeche Mode, yet on many occasions garnished with industrial beats and dark wave layers, but you'll be surprised when influences of The Doors and Massive Attack collide and come alive so smoothly in "Tombstone Soirée". Many times they enrich the atmosphere with some vocal samples of different speeches, and how nicely this option opens up the melancholic and sensual, almost a shoegazer named "Never Felt So Good". Another impressive chapter in here is completely male sung "The Hit", a truly unobtrusive gothic rock/dark wave driven piece. I must also make a mention of the ambiental/ethereal masterpiece "Belladonna Dream" with probably the most subtle vocal performance RxGF ever did.
Of course in this palette of varius musical explorations there are tracks that I didn't find appropriate for my taste, like are industrial/electro/dance/trance/sci-fi trippers "The Dying Grace Of Machines" and "Things That Go Bang (False Flag Mix)". It's almost like seeing the band on a different shore trying to make appeal to lovers of recent German/European electro movement, but still it's a must to pay some attention to the meaningfull lyrics with a clear messages of rebellion and calls for liberation from tyranny both personally and as a society. RxGF did an album that must be experienced by both, those who are striving for the innovations in music, and as well by those who are nostalgic enough and 80s and 90s are their favourite periods. Any Other Way is by all means a modern and complex, yet strong and nicely stylized piece of art, toped with a perfect production and good mix. It offers thirteen adventurous and divergent tracks, I can say even potential hits, that with a huge dose of addictive energy and catchy melodies will keep those who'll come up against them hooked for quite some time.
Review written by: T.V.