There's a been a recent resurgence of grunge rock, which is both exciting and terrifying. It straddles those extremes because, just like the explosion of EDM or Brit-pop, there are those who standout and others who get lost in the mix completely. Regarding indie band Xd Out, their latest album Better Day resides within that tension for better or worse. The album opens with the worshipful ballad, "We Love You Lord." The song is clearly a declaration of love for the Lord, and quite a long one at that, topping out at 6 minutes, 57 seconds. "Just One Way" introduces the more rock sound, along with tracks like "Break Me," "Free" and "Deeper." So, if you're looking for something harder, it may be best to skip to the second track. Songs like "The Source" and "Worthy" have those dark yet appealing sounds with hints of industrial elements that made early Skillet albums so enjoyable. Lyrically, they point directly to God, making for introspective and thoughtful songs. If you were a fan of mid-90's to early 2000's rock, you may really enjoy the direction of Xd Out as they may find their peers amongst artists from that timeframe. Sadly, what the album suffers from is hit-and-miss production quality. The drums feel overly compressed and it often leaves the tracks feeling muddy and fuzzy. The redeeming value in this album is that Xd Out's musicianship is impressive, but because of the lackluster production, it gets lost. Overall, this is a decent record showcasing a solid group that could easily open at any Christian Rock festival. If you're in the market for some classic sounding grunge-esque rock from someone new, these guys are worth checking out.
- Review date: 6/23/17, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com