Track Premiere: Getting Crazy-Weird with OXX’s “Birthday Song”

For a band to title its latest record The Skeleton is Just a Coat Hanger; These are the Black Strings that Make You Dance, well, you gotta think they’re either existing in a completely different universe and playing on a separate astral plane than most of the rest of us, or they’re just not playing with a full deck. So, there you have it: that’s the title of the forthcoming album by this trio from Aarhus, Denmark and aside from strangely reminding me of my father’s favourite way to insult me when I was a kid (“Why don’t you use your head for something other than a hat rack?”), it’s also a title that denotes some of the craziest avant-extreme metallic hardcore in recent memory.

Forming in 2012, the members of OXX all have extensive and varied histories on their local scene in any number of bands and projects ranging from punk, metal and freeform whatever to afrobeat and film score work. Skeleton… is the band’s fifth release and will be seeing the light of day in North America via Nefarious Industries, which takes a stab at describing their new charges like so: “ripping feverishly through math, noise, sludge, crust, avant-garde, and whichever other subgenre of extreme music imaginable. One might perhaps call it clusterfuck-core, but if that’s hard to picture, try getting blackout drunk and beating yourself to death with a Thomas Pynchon door stopper; that should put you in the ballpark.” Of course, that probably doesn’t help anybody pinpoint the unpinpointable and with that being the case, the best way to make sense of a band like OXX is to hear it for yourself before whipping out your own list of adjectives. Therefore, this morning we present a track entitled “Birthday Song” from said album for you to listen and decode. Here’s what the band had to say about the song when asked:

“’Birthday Song’ is a song about birthdays. It was the first song written for the record, and as it turns out, is just spasmodic and hectic enough that it manages to briefly round the corners of most of the musical and lyrical themes of the auditive clusterfuck that is The Skeleton.. As is the case for most of the lyrics on the record, ‘Birthday Song’ is an attempt at devising an appropriate/satisfactory literary vehicle for issues of a psychiatric, psycho-social and existential nature. For reasons too lengthy and self-indulgent to list, a weird kind of meta-text, and an equally fucked up sense of spatiality became the two most prominent lyrical currents of the record. Staircases, graves and open vistas interweave in a distorted Escher-esque hellscape, all in the midst of a text collapsing on itself. But fuck that pretentious shit. This is a song mostly about birthdays and insanity, but a bit about Swedish discus thrower Ricky Bruch as well. It fucking rips; the drums go boom super-fast and super slow, there’s riffs of both the sludgy and the math-y variety, screams and growls and yells and fucking saxophones!”

Nefarious Industries will release The Skeleton Is Just A Coat Hanger; These Are The Black Strings That Make You Dance on LP and digital platforms on August 16th.

Find preorders at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

[*photo by Nikolaj Bransholm]