The band’s new full length is backed by guitarist Will Allard, bassist Joseph Goode and drummer Ben Sears (who also plays alongside Allard in Whips/Chains). With a new line-up and some years removed from their young, violent hardcore days, Collision Blonde’s instrumental prowess sounds less like their elder contemporaries and more a cleaner tone reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain and The Cure, yet sharp and uneasy in the vein of Bauhaus’ early gothic post-punk edge. Tracks like “Knife” and the closing “Nosedive” are aggressively built up into a cathartic release, alluding to Ceremony, Iceage and mewithoutYou at times.
The band took a couple of weeks, held up in Allard’s basement studio in late March, to record with fellow musician and friend Evan Weiss (You Blew It!, The Jazz June) who helped produce the album. While the music may allude to a heavier dream pop sound, it’s still very much a hardcore record reminiscent of Dischord’s blends of punk and harmony. Collision Blonde is a lyrical wreck that’s driven by love, drugs, depression and waking up in a cold sweat wondering “What’s next for me?” on a consistent basis. It’s thoughtfully countered with a harmonic jangle of reverb, delay and hooks, as Xerxes has created their most polarizing work to date. / No Sleep Records