By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
All 12 tracks and 20 minutes of Gop Ist Minee prove that if there's hope that the Nintendo generation can have a truly mind-blowing rock experience all our own, it rests on the shoulders of five boys from Mobile, Alabama, known as XBXRX. Not faithfully planted in the annals of hardcore, noise, or any other subgenre guaranteeing marginal innovation and a homogenic audience, the members of XBXRX (the youngest was not yet 16 at the time of recording; the oldest a geriatric 24) toured the country last spring and summer with a bumbling father in tow and an act that left even the most blasé in awe. Somehow, things come together perfectly for the stage show, and like the Stooges before them, XBXRX takes the basic elements of an American rock band and uses them in an unrecognizable context.
Gop Ist Minee is the bridge between the absurdist show cooked up in a Southern basement and the making of an influential rock band. Recorded in two days in August by Steve Albini, the disc leaves the same aftertaste that all Albini byproducts, from Bedhead to Boss Hog, do. Yet the cleaned up noise of the signature recording cuts away the pointless and busy aspects of the band's live show and previous demo-tape and seven-inch releases, revealing a goofiness and an urgent hyperactivity that proves the act is much more worthwhile than a novelty.
Gop Ist Minee doesn't list song titles, which is just as well, as lyrics are mostly unrecognizable. The title is equally cryptic, but again, medium is the message here. Laughable and awe-inspiring at once, this is only the beginning. If these boys call it quits tomorrow, if, in 20 years, there's no PBS documentary venerating XBXRX, we may have missed out, we may be better off. We may still be reminiscing.
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