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RxGF - Any Other Way

23 October 2014

Seattle’s RxGF have come a long way in a brief four years of existence. Since their beginnings in 2010, the band, driven by John Morgan Reilly, has evolved from their first guitar-heavy recordings to slowly sneaking in synths more and more until their present form on their third album, Any Other Way, which finds them reinvented as Dark Wavers with their new Siouxsie Sioux-like singer, Angeline Schaff. There’s still plenty of guitar, but now it shares the spotlight with chugging, brooding Depeche Mode synths and Schaff’s dark, smoky vocals. Some of the greatest moments here, actually, feature little if no guitars, such as the rumbling title track.

The greatest song here is undoubtedly the Dark Wave classic in the making, “Flesh and Bone.” It sounds like it came out of an alternate universe where the commercial world of pop fully embraced the gothic side of music, and, unfortunately, unlike this universe, where songs like this could actually be hits. The best songs, like the aforementioned number, are the ones which truly showcase Schaff’s vocals. The rest of the time she’s forced to share vocal duty, but it’s not like Martin Gore’s beautiful introspective moments on Depeche’s greatest albums; it’s merely an unwelcome interruption. Still, if Any Other Way finds the band still fleshing out their sound, this album is undeniably RxGF’s finest incarnation yet.