Angel Guts: Red Classroom

Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts: Red Classroom
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2014 Ratings: #720 / 845
User Score
Based on 96 ratings
2014 Ratings: #365
February 4, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Bella Union / Label
Art Rock / Genres
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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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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. 

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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?”
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.

Wow, I’m fully disappointed in this record. I feel like it never had potential to be anything. Jamie’s vocals are annoying, the instrumentals seem empty, the ideas are thin, and the overall tone is all over the place. There just doesn’t seem like anything to sink my teeth into.

Color: White
FAV TRACKS: Stupid in the Dark, Bitter Melon, Black Dick
LEAST FAV: :Red Classroom, Angel Guts:, New Life Immigration, El Naco, Cinthya’s Unisex
"Angel Guts: Red Classroom" is like absolute torture if torture dropped the soap in Hell and got fucked by Michael Vic with a chainsaw smoking 20 cigarettes simultaneously while watching re-runs of Seinfield on Huluflix. Jamie's vocals are as eccentric as ever and the production is freaky as hell! But I would've loved the avant-garde direction a bit more if some of the tracks were a bit fleshed out in their sonic delivery.

Fav Tracks: Stupid in the Dark, A Knife in the Sun, Black ... read more
It’s fine, i can definitely enjoy this thing knowing that Xiu Xiu has taken a risk, and this thing really has kinda reformed Xiu Xiu leading to albums like Nina, Twin Peaks cover album, Forget, and Girl with basket of fruit. However, compared to those albums this one seems to be the least gratifying, and passionate album of the ones succeeding this one.
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
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
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Year End Lists

#50/The Quietus

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