xmethod sex alcohol rebel music.inddI’m a rare steak man. It doesn’t have to bleed to be palatable, but it probably wouldn’t hurt. After tossing a couple of sirloins on the grill for dinner, my fiancée asked how I was liking X-Method. A blood-tinged fugue immediately compelled me to follow her back into the house so that someone, anyone, would listen to the ensuing oral diarrhea. Fifteen minutes later, my untended steaks were completely overcooked. X-Method ruined my dinner and my stomach demands recompense. A California outfit formed in 1999, X-Method bill themselves as “hardcore Bay Area thrash.” While a jolt of crossover would not be unwelcome nowadays, that description is a terrible misnomer. In actuality, X-Method peddles an amalgamation of death metal, hardcore, and hard rock that will just as soon put you to sleep as command your attention. Their debut album, Sex, Alcohol, Rebel Music, lands much closer to ReLoad-era Metallica than anything on the actual thrash spectrum. Transitioning from one-dimensional death to faux-emotional ballads to hardcore-infused party metal is a tough task, and X-Method show that the past seventeen years weren’t worth the wait.

Opener “Denied What’s Ours” sets the tone for the album, cutting a riff devoid of technicality or enthusiasm and then beating it to a bloody pulp. At no point does the mind-numbing melody vary, stepping aside only for the most Plain Jane solo that you’ll ever find on something sold as metal. It’s barely passable work that might skirt by on the back of an unusual direction or a standout performance from any one of its members; instead, we’re left with five minutes that feel like ten. If you manage to stay awake through the table-setter, follow-up “Brutal as Fuck” treats you to three (three!) whole riffs this time, though you’ll be forgiven for failing to notice a difference between them. Are you noticing a trend yet?

When they’re not trying to slip Quaaludes into your drink, X-Method pinches out ill-advised ballad segments replete with hackneyed lyrics and horrendous cleans. I almost turned off “When Darkness Falls” the first time I heard it, put off by the sorry off-key crooning of both the lead and backing vocals. While the singing can only improve from there, “Waiting 4 the Rain” and the first third of “Addicted” prove Sex, Alcohol, Rebel Music’s emotional depths to be remarkably shallow. Vocalist Abby channels his inner James Hetfield, lacking only a “yeahhh yeah!” as he plops out exasperatingly non-specific gripes to mellow rock tunes. Trite lines like “And if tomorrow I’m dead and gone, you’ll know I gave it all to you within this song” suggest no one in X-Method has suffered true emotional savaging, let alone knows how to express it properly. This shouldn’t be surprising on an album with track listings like “Southern Comfort” and “Fuck Sobriety,” but for the amount of time X-Method devotes to these efforts, at least one nugget of genuine emotion should sneak in.

X-Method_2016

Compounding the writing issues, X-Method conjures negatives from anything positive. Abby’s hardcore-tinged guttural blurts, while competent, follow a consistently grating cadence that would be more natural under a hardcore flag. 16-year-old skinsman (skinsboy?) Collin outdoes his elders but loses punch and sinks further into the mix as the album progresses. Straight hardcore anthem “Woke” works surprisingly well in contrast to its heavier counterparts and actually strives toward banking some of the emotion this LP sorely lacks; however, at 47 seconds long, it’s a blip on the radar and nothing more. Foot-stomper “Triangles and Sixes” provides the only passable spin, invoking Sepultura with deliberate pacing and a decent riff, but all momentum fizzles the instant the eye-crossingly awful “Southern Comfort” begins.

X-Method suffer from an identity crisis more than anything. “Woke” and “Fuck Sobriety” are forays into dedicated hardcore that are, at the very least, somewhat easy to listen to. That’s nothing to discount given how poorly the rest of the dreck here proceeds. Conversely, there is enough of a death metal foundation in their roots that pivoting in that direction fully could prove an easier road toward respectability. In either case, aspiring to a hardcore-thrash mashup when they ignore their aptitude in the former and don’t even play the latter does X-Method no favors. Sex, Alcohol, Rebel Music is a feed bag of death droppings and regurgitated hardcore. I’d rather another well-done steak.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Pavement Entertainment
Websites: x-method.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/xmethod1
Releases Worldwide: August 12th, 2016

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  • Someone put a stake in this, rare or otherwise.

  • Diego Molero

    Everything about this is just wrong. The band name, the album name, the songs titles, the artwork, and I haven’t even heard the music yet.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      The score it got is right on the money, though.

  • Reese Burns

    They’re all trying so hard to look cool in that band photo.

    • AngryMetalBird

      N’Sync looked more hard in some of their pics…

      • Reese Burns

        Now how would you know that..? Hmm? ;)

        • AngryMetalBird

          I have a sister…

  • Huck N’ Roll

    Wvnderfvl review, Wvrm! I look forward to the day I am assigned a potential 1/5 album!

    • That day just got much closer….

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Thanks! But no, trust me, you don’t.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        I must say, I used to do music reviews for IGN, and even though having to listen to those bad CDs was never fun, I actually had a blast reviewing them. Seemed easier to find clever/humorous things to say about something I truly despised.

  • [not a Dr]

    @4:05 … someone likes that acoustic part way too much and is breathing heavily.

    • GardensTale

      My grandmother once had a problem with a guy who would call every now and then just to breathe heavily into the phone, creepy as fuck. Until she borrowed a referee’s whistle. Next time he called, she took a deep breath and blew that whistle right into the horn with all her might. After a moment’s silence she heard “Jeez goddammit!” He never called again.

      • [not a Dr]

        I tried the whistle, but the breathing’s still there!

  • ricin_beans

    A lot of pretty harsh reviews lately. You guys ok?

    • We’re angry.

      • Blueberry Balls

        Old metal dicks all crochety and curmudgeony – damn geezers!!!

      • [not a Dr]

        The name of the website kind of gives a hint.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Finally this place is back to normal!

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Never fear! The new Opeth album comes out September 30th!

      • Tofu muncher

        And Metallica in late October/early November.

    • Blueberry Balls

      YES THEY ARE FINE DAMN YOU!!!!

  • Anarchist

    Well… at least the embedded track is making me laugh.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Welcome aboard, Dr. Wvrm. Seems like there is an abundance of doctors in the house, if you will. First Fisting, then Grier, now Wvrm.

    Can’t wait to finish my PhD in 2 years…

    Edit: AMG said the same thing on facebook. Great minds think alike, I guess.

    • Many doctors and none can prescribe pills.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Who needs a doctor? I usually get my pills from the nice guy in the alley.

        • [not a Dr]

          You’re welcome.

        • Dr. Feelgood? He’s also a doctor.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    “I’m a rare steak man.”
    You’ll fit in well here, Dr. Wvrm.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Except there are too many doctors under one roof…

      • [not a Dr]

        What do you call a group of doctors? A pack? A flight? A gaggle? A murder?

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          A pack of gaggling murderers? Oh wait, a pack of gaggling morons.

  • Gaëtan Baratin

    This just sounds like a high school band. I find it hilarious.

  • Blueberry Balls

    That is one funny looking band!

  • Gaëtan Baratin

    Trve Wvrm !
    1.0/5.0 not kvlt enough

  • Rob

    This is the Neil Breen version of Metal.

  • Phantom667

    I freakin had to google fugue. That wikipedia article was really interesting. I guess this review was the result of an entertaining “post-fugue anger”.

  • David Hudgens

    this is the bassist Rivar Mason from X-Method . we must be doing something right. our CD’s are in record stores. we have 6 more years on our label. we have shows booked. a potential slayer show. for you to slander and let alone compare us to metallica means you have no fucking idea what we are about. or any idea about Metal. many people buy our cd’s , sport our shirts. and you just talk shit on metal bands that actually try to work hard to make music. if you can compare us to reload that means we are still doing something right. because it was fucking Metallica and it sold. and remember its just a start. we have multiple albums coming for the next 6 years so you better get used to it. everyone on here hasn’t kept up with us because you all think we just suck after listening to the radio tracks. lazy fucks make money for talking shit on the internet. at least we have our talent. a growing 80,000 fans. and support from D.R.I. , MachineHead, and Death Angel. we have love for any opinion on our music and reading this will help make us improve our work. Fuck you . Have a nice day.

    Rivar Mason From, X-Method

    • Thanks for commenting, Rivar. It occurs to me though if you react this defensively to a bad review you may be in the wrong business. Good look with your upcoming albums and tours.

    • El_Cuervo

      I’m happy for your success Rivar. But you should know that no one here makes any money. So when this review was written, the writer just really didn’t like your album.