Xiu Xiu’s forthcoming release, Dear God I Hate Myself (Streets Feb. 23 on Kill Rock Stars), is far less chaotic than previous noise-rock experiments and far less nihilistic than its title track might suggest. Synth squonks and electronic percussion offset vocal hooks of considerable heft. All these elements are established signatures of the band’s sound; but this time out, they’re more sophisticated in their amalgamation. It seems as if Xiu Xiu vocalist Jamie Stewart benefits enormously from the band’s musical development; he’s a more compelling and consistently engaging front man this time out.
Indeed, Dear God suggests that latter day goth-pop can simultaneously be both sophisticated and experimental. A combination of maturation and personnel changes has given Xiu Xiu a jolt, making this release worthy of eager anticipation.