Angel Guts: Red Classroom

Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts: Red Classroom
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2014 Ratings: #721 / 845
User Score
Based on 55 ratings
2014 Ratings: #334
February 4, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Bella Union / Label
Art Rock / Genres
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xiuxiu.org / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
Drowned in Sound

Angel Guts: Red Classroom is the typical blend of passion, pain and awkwardness which makes Xiu Xiu what they are. Fearless, demanding, relentlessly subversive.

80
Exclaim!
The intentions behind the album seem less about trying to be shocking and more about a gratuitous enjoyment of exploring the perverse and the extreme.
80
musicOMH

Angel Guts finds Stewart ploughing similar barren sonic terrain to the great albums he’s already produced, but with a slightly harsher, rawer feel than usual, which gives credence to the big claims his record label set out before it.

75
The Line of Best Fit

With Angel Guts Stewart once again manages to dig his nails into the grubby under layer, not returning with any transgressed beauty but instead stark honesty and brutal truth. 

75
The 405

Angel Guts: Red Classroom is from the outset an uncompromising record that opens with a short drone passage and from that point on presents the listener with a record that descends into increasingly grubby and murky subject matter.

75
Under The Radar
Riddled with gnarling hacksaw percussion, this is Xiu Xiu returning to its angst-spewing, ear-bleeding, bone-rattling, yet always melodic roots.
70
NME

Superficially it resembles many of Xiu Xiu’s others by draping wracked and fragile vocals over obtuse electronics and analogue atonality. However, Stewart and musical partner Angela Seo venture further than ever before into realms of horror-soundtrack psychodrama

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

Every subject and object on Angel Guts is twisted into a contorted reflection of his ever precarious state of mind, reeled through a filter of dank Moogs and stark 1970s drum machines that only heightens the stripped emaciation he projects out of himself and onto our world. 

70
AllMusic
The results could be shocking for shocking's sake -- and sometimes they are -- but Xiu Xiu still deliver nuances within this abrasive territory.
66
Pitchfork

Angel Guts can occasionally feel like stunt journalism, and you wonder how much skin Stewart has in the game, so to speak.

60
DIY

It's a record that leaves you feeling like you should batten down the hatches, ignore the sirens outside and prepare for the apocalypse. An album trying to survive under the harshest conditions, 'Angel Guts: Red Classroom' is a properly thrilling listen.

60
No Ripcord

If Xiu Xiu weren’t so nervily impulsive there could be a chance of a real, genuinely arresting statement in their work, but instead we’re presented with great shards of material molded out of fear and anger (and a fair dose of playful provocation), and expected to make sense of it all, which is a big ask.

60
Slant Magazine

Angel Guts may not be the definitive statement its press anecdotes paint it as, the long-awaited synthesis of Stewart's most challenging aspects cradled carefully by his most digestible, but it does further reveal how well he sells Xiu Xiu's extremes without compromising the grit of the band's basest elements.

40
PopMatters
Once again, low-tech and stripped-down sounds can yield beauty. In the hands of this band, they yield an album trying to be difficult for difficulty’s sake, an album likely to make even the most die-hard Xiu Xiu supporters scratch their heads wonder “What were they thinking?”
18
Consequence of Sound
The group’s ninth studio album, it wears all the trappings of “dark” without coughing up anything of substance to challenge the listener.
rosevean
76
Dark and dirty, but not bad.

#3 Stupid in the Dark / #4 Lawrence Liquors / #7 EL Naco
#11 A Knife in the Sun / #12 Cinthya’s Unisex
Benny
70
Torture Chamber Music.
No joke this sounds like it can be played during a torture session
onnio
85
Dark and twisted freakshow.
I like it.
Z.Younk
NR
experimental, terrifying, this album sounds like a Fincher soundtrack on acid. I wouldn't mind watching a film of the album starring Elijah Wood as a depressed serial killer in the future who eventually gets too depressed while listening to this on acid and thus hangs himself. If Marilyn Manson had sex with a David Lynch short film, you'd have Xiu Xiu
snarekickblues
49
Best Track: Stupid In The Dark, Adult Friends, A Knife In The Sun, Cinthya's Unisex, or Botanica de Los Angeles
Worst Track: El Naco
Most Overrated Track: Bitter Melon
Most Underrated Track: :Red Classroom
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#50/The Quietus
#95/musicOMH

Track List

  1. Angel Guts:
  2. Archie’s Fades
  3. Stupid in the Dark
  4. Lawrence Liquors
  5. Black Dick
  6. New Life Immigration
  7. EL Naco
  8. Adult Friends
  9. The Silver Platter
  10. Bitter Melon
  11. A Knife in the Sun
  12. Cinthya’s Unisex
  13. Botanica de Los Angeles
  14. :Red Classroom
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Added on: December 14, 2013