For many decades now the Pacific Northwest has been a fresh source of innovative and boundary-pushing music, and since 2010 Seattle native and musical veteran, John Morgan Reilly, has been continuing that tradition through RxGF with his eccentric brand of songwriting.
Any Other Way is the 3rd full-length release from Seattle band, RxGF, and it's been well worth their evolving efforts to arrive at an exciting new kind of sound that has set them off into an inspirational loop. Their recent dark wave indie electro exploration into the realm of all things shadowy and sublime is both futuristic and epic, precise yet serrated, current, and edgy.
RxGF is the preferred and truncated name that translates to "Radioactive X Girlfriend" (for those that may be inclined to go all CosPlay or goth on us). Primarily driven by producer and Seattle native, John Morgan Reilly, the band went live this year performing various shows in the Northwest with 20 year old vocalist, Angeline Schaaf. Reilly had been auditioning female lead vocalists for over a year before discovering Schaaf, and her brooding melodies certainly accelerate and embody Reilly's evolving vision.
Schaaf's voice is an authentic yet almost imperious assault on everything an audience might take for granted producing raw, saturated, and passionate vocal stabs that somehow gracefully cascade around the band's heavy low-end keyboards and primal rhythms. Any Other Way is Schaaf's first full-length record with the band, having released a Single (Belladonna Dream) with RxGF in 2013.
The record was approached from an electro-industrial vantage point, yet prominently incorporates live drums with heavy tribal aggression. Reilly maintains that he's finally found the sound that RxGF will explore for quite some time. The 13 song record is an ominous group of anthems that blend together crushing drums and vocals fortified with layered electronics and beats. Much of the enthusiastic "whoa who is this??!" response to their live sound has validated what Schaaf and Reilly believed when they first began working together in early 2013, and sonically their inauspicious and futuristic songs could naturally be an Orwellian soundtrack to a Blade Runner remake or just a series of stand-alone cult classics.
Like the first two RxGF albums, Reilly teamed up again with producer and fellow multi-instrumentalist, Jonathan Plum, on many of the songs, but this time Reilly handled the engineering, production, and mixing for over half of the record on his own.
When asked to describe their new record, Reilly mused, "Imagine the Superstar Destroyer, a monolithic and dirty old space ship several kilometers long lumbering through space at light speed. That's the feel and the sound of many of these new songs. You have these dark electronic layers with huge drums and dirtied-up vocals. Nothing is clean. The circuitry still works but the protective coating has melted...the wiring is a bit charred up everywhere and that's by design. The closest to commercial mainstream we get could be likened to Princess Leia and Han Solo operating the Millennium Falcon. It may not be cosmetically perfect, but it will hit light speed in hyper drive operated by two like-minded pilots with very different artistic backgrounds. I'm proud that this record won't be too familiar of a sound to anything that's out there right now, and hopefully it will stretch the listener's imagination and give them some insight into what's possible when you blend together diametrically opposing sounds and ideas. I believe that what we're doing here is innovative, and I'm excited to continue our deep space exploration with this sound."
RxGF's sound has evolved dramatically since the guitar-heavy indie debut of 2011's Art of Splitting, fully transitioning in 2012 to electro-folk with All Blade No Handle, and now to a new kind of electro drum-heavy dark wave that would now be unrecognizable as the same band. Past RxGF lineups have included supporting musical contributions by prolific co-producer Jonathan Plum, Dave Rosser (Twilight Singers, Afghan Whigs), Davey Brozowski (Catheters, Tall Birds, Black Whales), Josh Greenberg (The Ruby Doe), Jessika Kitzman (Seeing Blind), Matthew Burgess, Bill Ibsen (Remission), Philana Goodrich, and even New Zealand pop star Daniel Bedingfield.
released November 1, 2016
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