Danny Baxley’s art balances punk primitivism and smart alternative rock craft, and avant-gardists will frequently be drawn to his unique fervor. You really need to listen to his soon to be released ‘Love Sex Alcohol’ as a whole to get the full, wringing, emotional impact of the album. Danny has cleverly dodged the corporate rock system, hauling himself up by his indie bootstraps to a position of freedom and power. Whatever you want from him, you either get it, or you keep listening until you do. Braxley makes uncompromising music packed to the hilt with charisma, wit, attitude and energy, possessing a carefully calibrated ratio of clever and stupid that – when applied appropriately – results in truly mind-blowing rock music.
‘Love Sex Alcohol’ plays out like you would expect an alternative rock album to do; with hard guitar riffs, angular strumming, off-kilter beats, moody keyboards and frightening intensity. Yes, the album is raw and powerful, but it is also many other things besides; the musical texture is both consistent enough to be cohesive and varied enough to be interesting. The guitars go from smoky and slow to fast and furious, but Danny Baxley is a charismatic enough performer to stay in front of it all; he’s a growling feral dog one minute and a wailing banshee the next, and throughout it all, there’s enough emotion to hook you in and keep you there.
‘Love Sex Alcohol’ forges not just sharp musicianship; but sharp writing, too. Baxley’s not just out to skewer easy targets, but to express complex truths, and to take a critical look at himself as well. It’s an essential work by an eclectic artist, who blends as much melody as he does dissonance – and essential works are not frozen in perfection but are instead the result of a long creative process involving multiple and even contrasting ideas; sometimes what emerges is a singular definitive vision, as is the case with ‘Love Sex Alcohol’.
The music on “Lose Control” is complex and thickly layered as the vocals switch from intense reverberation to near-field voicings, while the tempo is in constant evolution. “Ithaca” on the other hand introduces catchy guitar and keyboard phrases, which is at once more accessible to listeners, though he does not abstain from adding exciting curves to the arrangement. Baxley’s moody voice takes center stage on “Hey a” prompted by a cleanly strummed guitar and an ever building backing arrangement of strings and drums.
The mixes of the songs are often loud and dirty – and it is not intended for the weak kneed, lily-livered, or hardcore pretenders. What we are listening to on “Love Sex Alcohol” is an artist who is visceral and challenging in his approach. The bass, drums, and alternately the guitar and keyboards are pronounced, depending on the intended mood, and exactly where they should be. It’s a rock album – hence the mixes bring those elements front and center….often louder than you’d expect.
But that’s another one of Baxley’s curiosities. He hardly ever does what you expect. This is not, and never will be, a normal record. This is an extreme record, a personal snapshot of an artist on a mission to find his own lane. This is what many alternative recordings would sound like if only the artists had the balls to be themselves. The album “Love Sex Alcohol” drops on the 14th of JULY and is already available for pre-order on iTunes.