Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Record label: 5 Rue Christine
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
After the expansive darkness of La Forêt, Xiu Xiu return with The Air Force, a set of songs that manages to be just as challenging as La Forêt, but sparer and somehow more eclectic-sounding at the same time. This time around, Jamie Stewart and company's explorations of vulnerability and ugliness-beauty are even more vivid; as usual, Stewart's breathtakingly concise, poetic lyrics are front and center. He captures longing and self-loathing on "Buzz Saw," singing "Your acne is like pearl/I swear mine is like brimstone." On the closing track, "Wig Master," he whispers, "Loneliness isn't being alone/It's when someone loves you/And you don't have it in you to love them back," a statement as devastating as it is true.
The Air Force's album cover is an Eastern Orthodox-style painted image of Christ wearing the crown of thorns, and it makes complete sense. Invoking old world Christianity alongside a title that alludes to a new Christian hegemony screams out identity crisis, and identity crises are one of the major reasons Xiu Xiu has remained compelling after so many records. While Jamie Stewart & co.