Blood Sugar X burst back onto the music scene earlier this summer after a 7 year hiatus with The Dead Dumb Happy Life vol. 1. Continuing this week's unintentional theme of “new releases by genre-busting bands who had disappeared for a while but now are back hooray!” (the name tested great in the focus group...), Xavier Dphrepaulezz and company are back with Volume 2.
It's an aggressively and gloriously disjointed piece of soul-punk. Finding common ground between Prince, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, and Fishbone, Volume 2 leans more on riff rock than it's predecessor. The record is heavier and darker, but also more ambitious. The totally insane (in a very good way) album highlight “Jesus Help Me Now” especially jumps between hip-hop, punk, folk, and hard rock faster than you can follow along. Guitarist Masa Kohama does his best Tom Morello, stretching and mutating his guitar past recognition while Dphrepaulezz decimates a poor microphone that never did anything to him.
Elsewhere, the band blends disparate influences more, as on the bluesy “Honey Child,” and “People Call Me Crazy.” The two tracks are more Zeppelin than Rage, but with the bizarre hooks that made Blood Sugar's 2004 debut Crack Smack Sugar Shit Pop so addictive. There are no plans for a Volume 3 any time soon, but hopefully it wont be 7 more years before we hear from Xavier Dphrepaulezz.
The record is available through the band's bandcamp right now on a pay-what-you-can basis (see music player above).
- Words by Nathan Leigh