Xerus – “…this impossible everything”
From Minneapolis, Minnesota, Xerus is an extremely original band of three: Michael Townsend Letsinger (vocals/guitar/songwriter), Travis Washnieski (drums), and Scott Sachs (bass guitar). “…this impossible everything” on SkinCell Record Group is Xerus’ second album, preceded by “Wrath of Ra” which included number one hit on New Artist Radio, “Easy Pieces.”
Slipping “…this impossible everything” into my CD player, I was surprised at the intro, “Recoil.” The a cappella track starts quietly and calmly, with lyrics touching on the end of the world, politics, and relationships. Soon, the proposed meaning of this track gets jumbled and covered by screeching and deep vocal rambling: disharmony at its greatest. I listened on with a smile on my face, thinking this would be a comical band, purposefully comical, that is.
The rest of the album featured the same whirlwind of disharmony. I will say that most of the tracks start out crisp and fresh in the instrumentals. The guitar, drum, and bass lines fit well together. The music isn’t terrific, but it is somewhat harmonious and almost pleasing to the ears. In just about every song a funky guitar riff sets a mood of amusement and enjoyment until Letsinger’s vocals come in and disturb the flow of the track. “Invisible Excuse,” “Sacra-Official,” and “Full Circle” are three tracks that I was pleased with in their early moments, but disappointed with as soon as the vocals were introduced. Neither the band as a whole nor its vocalist has a clear, defined sound, and this is demonstrated in the rough changes in tempo and Letsinger’s constant variations in tone of voice. The songs lack synchronization and present themselves as a bunch of notes and beats crammed into a track with off-key vocals.
Without regard to the previous tracks, my favorite track on “…this impossible everything” is the last one, “Another Friday.” This upbeat, fast-paced song got my attention, as it is about having an orgy with friends. Letsinger’s crazy vocals fit so much better in comical music, and I enjoyed this song for its absurdity.
M.T. Letsinger’s voice, and Xerus collectively, have potential to be admirable once they discover their sound. In an industry full of mainstream music that tends to blend identities, Xerus does “sound unlike most everything else you have heard.”