XETAS: The Cypher: LP

Lotta glorious contradictions going on over the course of the ten songs here. They’re not quite a straightforward “punk” band, not quite a full-on “noise” band, but an amalgamation of the two dispensing tunes that simultaneously fall into both camps. There’s tons of dissonance to be found, but it’s approached with a lot of sophistication in the song structures, attention to dynamics, when to pull back and when to let fly, and it’s soldered onto a chassis of tunes that at times are, dare I say, flat-out anthemic (I can totally hear the closer, “The Mariner,” as a surprise radio hit). Abundant in creativity, propulsive, oddly engaging throughout, this is a definite keeper. –Jimmy Alvarado (12XU, 12xu.bigcartel.com)