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Xiu Xiu, ‘Women as Lovers’ (Kill Rock Stars)

Careening between luxuriant melodies and irritating noise, Xiu Xiu albums are iffy by design. On Women as Lovers, closely miked vocals vie for attention with arpeggiated guitar (“F.T.W.”), aggressive whistling (“Child at Arms”), random percussion (“The Leash”), and what sounds like air escaping from an overblown balloon (“F.T.W.” again). Gratuitously avant saxophone squawking mars some of the disc’s best moments — an otherwise excellent rendition of the Queen/Bowie standard “Under Pressure,” in particular — but Xiu Xiu’s knack for grafting lush hooks onto noisy post-rock remains seductive.

Now Hear This: Xiu Xiu – “I Do What I Want When I Want” DOWNLOAD MP3