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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wild Gift

X

1981

Wikipedia

Wild Gift

Rating

2.96

Votes

3302

Reviews

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4

Wow. Impressed. Heard of X, I think, but never listened before. It’s catchy, pared down, good variety, not too one note. I hear ramones, pixies, misfits, Jefferson airplane, sonic youth, iggy and the stooges, that says it all. Saved the album to my library.

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5

Had never heard this before - awesome - right up there on the list with the Clash, the Femmes, and other angry punk/post-punk bands of the era.

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5

I loved this. It was my first time hearing of this band. What a find!

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4

What's not to love about X?

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4

Maybe it’s the pop-punk loving side of me, but I really enjoyed this album, especially the first and last tracks sung by the female vocalist. I liked the blend of 50s rock with the driving pace of punk. This is the more palatable version of what The Cramps were trying to achieve. I waffled between 3 and 4 stars and ended at 4 because I want to look up more music by X.

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4

well, this is another one that was over too soon. i knew about X, of course, being a punkity-rock kid back in the day - but they were a little before my time, and i didn't really come to them until later. i love the aggressive attack on the guitar, the almost brutal uncaring in exene's voice...just great punk rock.

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2

alright but a bit boring. Superb bass playing though, and bonus points for being short and sharp

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5

favorite songs: The Once Over Twice, Universal Corner, In This House That I Call Home, When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch. a really good album, only a couple songs that I thought were meh

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5

Solid punk album. Good sound, songs are happily 3 minutes. Songs are happily 75 seconds. Good melodies, fun listen.

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5

Awesome!

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5

This album is tight. It's full of ramshackle, energetic rockers from one of the most unique bands in music. X's punk bona fides are on full display, sweetened with a rockabilly undertone and a hint of a twang, which would become more pronounced on future albums. Billy Zoom's guitars burn brilliantly. D.J. Bonebrake's drums set an urgent pace that propels everything forward without distracting from the true stars of this show, John and Exene. The chaotic harmonies of John Doe and Exene Cervenka are imperfectly perfect. They're languid and messy and totally endearing. Their lyrics are incredibly poetic, blurring the gritty with the romantic. They sing about the dysfunctional side of life and of love, and you can feel it. Fave Songs: The Once Over Twice, Adult Books, In This House That I Call Home, I'm Coming Over

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5

1981! Really? Wow. Straight into the favourite albums list.

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5

Pleasantly surprised to see this here. Very underrated.

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5

I prefer Los Angeles, but this a great album too.

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5

white girl and tals

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4

Bounces between Ramones style bouncy punk to leaning slightly more hardcore. I'd say it's a proto-pop-punk record. Lot of fun, and the dual vocalists definitely help break it up here and there. Favorite tracks: "Universal Corner", "Back 2 the Base"

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4

Not bad

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4

I'm digging this record. Good punk, lots of fun to listen to

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4

rock out brooklyn basement style!

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4

What a great album. One of my favorites so far. Brings back great memories

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4

Pretty, pretty good

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4

Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but fantastic classic punk in my opinion.

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4

Opgewekte muziek. Misschien wat eentonig, maar omdat het zo tof is, kunnen we dat door de vingers zien.

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4

Some great punk rock.

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4

love this like probably not enough to listen to it again but maybe who knows when i'm feeling Punky

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4

nice 80s punk

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4

very cool

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4

Exhibit A on why not to look at the Wikipedia page before listening to the album. Apparently the female lead, Exene Cervenka, has gotten into conspiracy theories in recent years, including mass shooting hoaxes. But once I listened, I was pleasantly surprised and mostly didn't think about what I had learned about them. I had also read that their brand of early-80s punk was tinged with rockabilly, and I could definitely hear that in the songs. Sonically I thought they were pretty great - I liked the sped-up rockabilly/surf rock style, and usually enjoyed the paired lead vocals. I wasn't as big a fan of the lyrics, though.

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4

Classic punk. I loved the way there were male and female vocals on most tracks. Really well done and catchy.

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4

Tan punk californiano. Amo. Flema tiene un tema que se llama 'Surfeando En El Riachuelo' que es todo lo que está bien y me hizo acordar, musicalmente, al primer tema del disco. Me remontó a eso automáticamente cosa que amo profundamente. 13 temones muy fáciles de escuchar y, por sobre todo, muy geniales. The Once Over Twice y Year 1 son los temas que más me gustaron. Lo escucharía mil veces más. 9/10 ludomatics.

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4

hell yeah punk rock cool influences as well

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4

yep it’s a punk album

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4

Love it. Reminds me of Minutemen. Need to get it on vinyl.

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4

Promisingly rapid start! Punky with a 50's rock and roll feel, makes me think of the Rezillos a bit. Four tracks in, I really like this and feel I missed out not knowing this album before! In short, this is really bloody good. I still love The Rezillos more for this fun, 50s inflected punk (I'm naturally going to identify more with Scottish sci fi geeks than a cool LA band), but this is definitely going back on at some point.

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4

A great rock record

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4

Very West Coast punk album, another new band from this list that I've never heard before so had no idea what to expect. I liked it, great energy, wailing guitars, has a rockabilly vibe. Would listen to this again. Short, punchy, and I like that the vocalists switch it up, each leading their own songs and some with both harmonizing. Fun album.

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4

Some heavy Pixies, Talking Heads and B-52's vibes from 1981. Post-punk new wave soundtrack to a student house party in a movie, any movie.

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4

Pretty good punk

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4

Some real good older Riot Girl punk music. Reminds me of Blondie. Never heard of X before but I really like this.

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4

Was a bit slow to start but once it got going it was a really fun listen. Still sounds fresh. The cover of the album had me expecting something more contemporary so it was a real surprise.

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4

Now, I adore 70s punk and post-punk. I consider them together to be the greatest genre of music. However, I'd never sought to listen to X before, for no reason other than I've always been more compelled towards UK acts of the period. I decided to set the evening aside to listen to both this and their earlier Los Angeles, and I found a rather pleasant straddling of punk and new wave, with Wild Gift the more embraceable. I'd have to say it lacks the knockout blow of a 5-starrer, but it's plenty rocking and sardonic, and there are worse ways of spending an evening.

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4

The wildest gift I ever received was for my 13th birthday. My siblings had all clubbed together to get me the severed penis of our old scout master. I loved it. I would play with it all the time. Every night before bed I would kiss it goodnight and then fuck the shit out of myself until my anus resembled a bloody casserole.

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4

Great garage

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4

I just don't know if I knew far less about music than I thought, or this 'challenge' goes out of it's way to pick more obscure bands. But these guys shouldn't be - early 80's raw punk tinged rock - so why aren't 'X' as big as they should be?

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4

Thoroughly enjoyable. The female vocal is better than the male

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4

Punk rock. Energetic. Fast paced and fun. Would listen to again (and check out more by this band).

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4

short, concise punk record. Not bad at all

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4

I knew nothing of X before this came up, and what a pleasant surprise. Lively, brash punk - will be returning for more listens

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4

Great stuff.

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4

It was way better than I expected it to be, by far. I actually liked a lot of it.

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4

Really cool pop-punk album. I’d heard Los Angeles before and though it was ok, but honestly I think this one’s better. Also still can’t believe they’re produced by Ray Manzarak

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4

I generally like X, haven’t gone back before More Fun in the New World in years. I enjoyed this. It makes me want to go back to listen to Los Angeles.

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3

It was okay. The album was definitely consistent, but nothing amazing.

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3

A bit rough around the edges but definitely an interesting sound

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3

Right around the middle on this one. Preferred LA

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3

Fun, I’d forgotten how much

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3

Not my thing but better than expected

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3

Needs another listen

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3

Fun, energetic, and catchy rock.

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3

du punk brut

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3

This was some ok punk rock. Some songs were more aggressive than others ("the once over twice" and " desperate Los Angeles"), While some seem more country("adult books" - has a more punk Elvis vibe.), some just didn't work at all for me as it seems the 2 singers weren't so harmonious(but that could be what they were going for)"I'm coming over". But for me there were some great songs "it's who you know" and "in this house that I call home"has the right about of everything above mixed together. Overall a decent album.

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3

Not too shabby.

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3

oddly wild

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3

Wasn't really familiar with this band before, I liked it.

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3

X sounds best when John and Exene are singing together. It's a little off kilter, but the energy is gives off is fantastic. Pretty consistently good album, though nothing that is amazing.

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3

Such a 3/5 I can tell it’s early punk and why it’s on this list

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3

punk rockabilly love songs

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3

Generic late punk album

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3

Hard rock with punk vibes, not my jam but it was ok

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3

I was originally down on this album but it grew on me and as the album played through spotify took me to some very cool punk bands with a similar sound that I enjoyed. Pretty neat.

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3

Great energy out of this album, which is what you would expect.

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3

6

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3

In one ear and out the other. forgettable rockabilly punk vibes. It's fine

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3

New to me, quite liked it - going to have a listen to their other stuff 👍

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3

Production: 13/20 Songwriting: 12/20 Innovation: 11/20 Bangers: 5/20 Emotional response: 10/20 =51 Yeah was alright bit boring but hey ho

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3

Fairly consistently good punk, a bit of rockabilly that was eh so so

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3

If the Ramones hopped into a Cadillac, put Johnny B Goode on the 8 track, and drove straight into the B-52's love shack, it might sound like this. Thanks, X, for pushing punk in new directions. The rockabilly stuff is not my cuppa tea, but the rest was solid. I have a feeling their lyrics deserve more attention. Perfect soundtrack to Tony Hawk Pro Skater II. B+

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3

Gillar själva musiken men sången är nääääee

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3

De eerste paar nummers had ik de indruk dat die met tegenzin waren opgenomen en vond ik nogal vervelend. Naar het verder verloop van het album toe begon het iets dragelijker te worden

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3

never heard of these before - better than expected but not one I can imagine getting really into

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3

Probably better live.

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3

3

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3

listened to half. It was fine.

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3

Sounds a lot like Auntie Christ. Pretty enjoyable, would listen again.

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3

Boring

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3

Pretty good

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3

There are some solid, rocking songs on here. I’m iffy on the vocals. Some tracks they are good while on other tracks not so much. I’m more in favor of the music.

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3

Too much rock for my taste, but was some great riffs there!

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3

Not bad. I liked Adult Books and White Girl.

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3

I have to give it to them for the cohesive performance, sounds like a band playing together live instead of multiple takes on-top of one another.

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3

Seems good. I need more listens. Solid 3/5.

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3

Kinda punk, kinda ok, kinda whatever

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3

I thought this one was aight. Didn't jump out at me though!

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3

Decent early punk, good vocal harmonies between the male and female lead. Songwriting was pretty straightforward but catchy.

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3

Classic punk, some great works in there.

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3

80. Tudo isto não é uma fábula. A quantidade gigantesca de dados que ELES têm armazenados sobre nós pode efetivamente impacto muito reais na nossa vida, na nossa saúde... No acesso a produtos financeiros, no acesso a produtos de seguro que é um dos casos... Pá, que é mais conhecido. Todos estes dados podem efetivamente virar-se contra nós, man. Eu posso saber que uma pessoa cuja mãe tenha tido cancro do pulmão, que fume e que tem um conjunto de atividades na sua vida XYZ*##%, com muita probabilidade se tiver uma doença oncológica, amanhã lhe pegar aquele tratamento, aquele tratamento não vai ser eficaz em 70% das dos casos. Faz sentido que nós possamos tomar essas decisões sobre as pessoas? Na minha perspetiva não faz. Mas é nesse caminho que nós estamos. É deste tipo de situações que nós estamos a falar, meu. MotA: When Our Love Passed out on the Couch "I just heard the sad song by another band sung. By another man he gave me the once over twice"

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3

Yeah ok. Raucous.

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3

Not bad but punk is not my thing 3*

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3

Can't tell why this one is here. Sounds like most rock albums and didn't blow me away. It's good punk, but I wouldn't say I needed to hear it before I died.

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3

3/5 okeyish

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3

Enjoyable for what it is, and can see the influence it had on later bands, but doesn't stand out as much anymore

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3

Neat punk album. Fairly high quality production, a bit more polished than your traditional punk. Not all the tracks were winners.

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3

"4th Of July" by X is one of my all time favorite songs. I got into it after hearing it used at the end of an episode of The Sopranos. It's from the latter stage of X's career, and it's one of only a handful of their songs not written by John Doe and Exene Cervenka. There's really nothing here that resembles "4th of July" (but you should listen to it, 4th Of July is a 5). It's still a great listen. I don't necessarily side with all of the critics who seemingly fell all over themselves to over praise it back when it was initially released. But 1981 was a bizarre year all around.

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3

A bit energetic

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3

Certainly the best thing I've heard from John Doe. I think I last heard X over 40 years ago - this has aged well.

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3

Got a Pat Benatar meets the Ramones vibe. Never heard of this band, but they can rock! This is definitely punk, but a little more refined. Ramones is really a good comparison. I also love just the fast-rock 2-minute jam and done tracks. Adult Books sounds so much like a Talking Heads song, I have to know if they collaborated or were just fans. Boom: from John Doe: "But he cites his live introduction to punk rock, a gig by the Talking Heads early in their career, which took place at New York City’s CBGB, appropriately enough, as a true life-changing event. “Their music was an elixir,” he recalls. “It filled the space and affected everybody who was there. The band played Psycho Killer, and at the end, David Byrne took off his guitar and just walked out the door. I thought to myself, This could be his last performance." Clearly an influence there. This was pretty good. They carved out a style and it mostly works. I don't know how memorable it was, but I think I would listen to some of this again, and i can see how it can get its hooks into you. Definitely an album about having fun - no bummers in here.

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3

It was fine. The first two tracks rock then it gets a bit middle of the road after that.

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3

Pretty alright. I didn’t hate listening to it. Nothing to write home about though.

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3

Not my thing but better than expected

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3

decent punk album. doesn't blow my socks off but don't hate it either. sounds pretty much like what I'd expect an early 80s punk album to sound like.

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3

Has some interesting parts...I enjoy the more rockabilly side of things. I didn't remember X having that type of sound. Overall the early 80s punk sound isn't my favorite...prefer more post punk. 2.5/5

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3

I was only familiar with the Australian band of the same name. This one rocks nuts much harder though.

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3

very lorelai/jess punk rock style but i think i'm too young to really feel it

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3

3rd song in, strong start so far but wont seek out

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3

Not my style. Not terrible

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3

Didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did! As with all punk it's best enjoyed in small doses

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3

Spunky. 5/10

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3

It sounds like a band trying to leave behind the '77 punk sound of Los Angeles (which is fine) but not really hitting on anything new of note. Punk was splintering in a million different directions by 1981, this probably wasn't one of the more exciting ones.

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3

Better than Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.

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3

If it was released between 77-80 it would have been more interesting, but it wasn't so it's just some generic punk by numbers. Not bad to listen to, just uninteresting.

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3

The first album I've got where I had genuinely NEVER heard of them before. Grungy and crunchy and surprisingly enjoyable.

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3

It is a punk rock album. It is good. I did not know any of the songs.

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3

אלבום בסדר

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3

Solid punk, I guess. Not exactly for me.

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3

I dig it

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3

Kim Gordon vibes Wipers vibes Really good

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3

"Wild Gift" is the musical equivalent of being woken in the middle of the night by two cats having sex outside your bedroom window. There's a lot of confusion and some truly horrible noise going on and you just want it to stop. I generally give punk and punk-adjacent music a pass where vocals are concerned but, in no key are these vocals hitting actual harmonies. They're just wailing. Which is a shame because the lyrics are legitimately poetic and the backing music is pretty decent. The wailing, though. Dang.

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3

Pretty good.

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3

Hadn't heard of X. Enjoyed it, pretty good.

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3

Listened to on 3/2/22 3.5/5 Favorite song: Back 2 The Base Great - very big hair 80s party vibes

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3

It's alright. Nothing special. None of the songs left a lasting impression.

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3

3-, not bad punk album but kinda repeatable

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3

Not really my cuppa, but it's pretty catchy. Not bad.

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3

Punk rock nordamericà de primer nivell. No arriba a ser tan memorable com el seu primer disc, l'anterior 'Los Angeles', però no baixen gaire el llistó. Temes ràpids, precisos i tot i que no compte amb singles que destaquin és un bon i consistent treball

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3

Nice proto punk guitar.

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3

I enjoyed this while I listened, but it didn't really seem to have anything particularly memorable

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3

This album didn’t make a great first impression but it grew on me after a while. Still not great and not good canvassing music but oh well

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3

Fun, punk album

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3

A real bare bones garage band type feel to this...At one point it started to wear me down and then the last few tracks White Girl, When Oour Love Passed Out on the Couch and Year 1 got me back in.

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2

Most of it was generic punk. A few standout tracks, but not enough to make me want to listen again. Best track: It's Who You Know

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2

Not a fan of this. If we’re looking at an evolutionary tree for punk rock, this is a different branch that went extinct

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2

I like the energy but the tunes are a bit dull

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2

Enjoyable punk rock, but nothing that seemed particularly special or unique to it, making me question why it was on the list.

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2

inb4 2005

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2

This album would have benefitted from the following: 1. A competent producer. 2. A vocal coach to teach the two singers how to harmonize in more than one interval 3. A new lead vocalist The first four songs on this album were really terrible. It got better towards the end, which is the only reason this gets 2 stars instead of 1.

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2

Hat mich nicht so berührt. Klang wie Punkrock von der Stange; für Kontext war diesmal keine Zeit.

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2

Solide. Könnte auch aus den 90ern sein. Eingängige Songs, nette Mann/Frau call/response vocals, Drums wie Bela B. sie liebt. Für ein Evergreen Album zu wenig / eine charmante Vorband. Anerkennende 2.2

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2

Punkowanie po raz enty, tym razem zachodnie wybrzeze hameryki, na pierwszy rzut oka nie moglem bandy polaczyc z zadnym albumem, czy nawet kawalkiem, dopiero po analizie plejki wyszlo, ze cos wczesniej od nich slyszalem, ale byl to pojedyczny trak musze nie myslec negatywnych mysli, ale rownie dobrze moglbym przesluchac calego albumu i o tym nie wiedziec, bo nic z tej plyty nie zostaje w glowie, nie wiem czy to sprawa tego wokalnego duetu, gdzie glowna role odgrywa pani cervenka, do bolu juz ogrywanymi gitarkowymi brzmieniami, ktore gdzies juz wczesniej slyszales, o ile w niektorych momentach lirycznie by sie kawalek bronill, to znowu wokal mieszano nijaki nie pomaga w odbiorze, nie wiem z ktora brytyjska wokalistka punkowa mi sie kojarzy maniera baby Xowej, ale doslownie deja vu, juz to slyszalem u kogos innego, na plejaka wrzuce we are desperate, co dobrze okresla styl w jakim jest utrzymany material, desperacja sukcesu, ciekawy random fakt, ze na produkcji siedzial, wtedy juz byly, czlonek doorsow, czyli pan manzarek, czego bym sie nie spodziewal, a wyprodukowal im jeszcze debiutanckiego krazka

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2

There were a couple songs I enjoyed here, like Adult Books, but it was overall a bit too whiny-grungy to be a good listen.

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2

Just OK for me. I liked the rhythm section, but nothing else really stood out for me.

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2

Niet heel verkeerd maar ik kan er niet van genieten

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2

Okay, but not really my type of music. 0RS

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2

Ordinary is an understatement

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2

their name being X is not the best for name recognition but it does look really cool under every song title on the tracklist. kind of weird seeing a regular picture for the album art but its okay. 32 min long, nice and short lets go. aw i dont think i'll be into this. i was so ready but i'm bothered by how low energy it is. they sound so over it lol. how many women are they gonna call out lol we've got jackie susan and magdalene so far. back 2 the base was really something lol. not into thisss

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2

Generic punky rock album. Three minute songs, not a lot to them to be honest. Won’t be missed that I’ll never listen to it again.

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2

i dunno it's fine

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2

I mean... punk... 2/5

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2

Me gusta que sea una mezcla de punk con rockabilly, no me gusta, no me copa que se escuche como temas que sobraban de los 70.

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2

Kind of generic and nothing special.

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2

Meh. Didn’t make an impression

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2

Some nice vocal harmonies, some of the chord progressions were a bit interesting. I can't stand the blues rock elements on the album. It feels plastic and tiresome. During the two last songs I was just looking forward to this album ending

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2

Yes, this is marginally better than Germ Free Adolescents. Sadly, that isn't a huge compliment. Heard it described as punkabilly, pretty accurate. Not so much for me. The only uses I could potentially see are: -I have half an hour to get ready for a fancy dinner after waking up, blast this in the loudspeakers while preparing and stressing out about what to wear. -Having to wake up the lazy, potentially hung-over participants at a summer camp.

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2

Their vocals are horable to listen to, the instrumental sections are pretty good, saves it from being a 1. Punk was a mistake

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2

Primera noticia. Ser influyente pero desconocidos. Rock muy garajero, cercano al punk. Empieza bien pero poco más. Si estás escuchando todos los discos de esta lista hay que darle una oída pero poco más. Me gustó "It's who you know".

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2

No… this hasn’t got anger to be punk, nor does it have the tunes to be anything else. Sorry X

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2

Alright. A little edgy and all of the songs sound the same

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2

I was a big fan of "Los Angeles" when it came out, but "Wild Gift" never made an impression on me...it feels somewhat lifeless in comparison. It's like "Los Angeles" but toned down and cleaned up for the non-punk masses. "Last night everything broke" is a great line, though!

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2

I’d like to hear more John Doe and less Exene Cervenka. 2.75.

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2

Yay more (post)punk! Couple decent tracks.

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I don't think I've heard of X before and all of the tracks on Wild Gift were new to me. Based on the music I'm guessing this album falls into the punk category and feels well rooted in the 80s. (Another sign that this is punk is that there are only 3 of 16 tracks that are longer than 3 minutes.) I got through this album, but I did not enjoy listening. None of the tracks sparked my curiosity.

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I get it, it's classic post-punk or pre-snark retro-rock. Just not highly enthused about it. I've started a lot of my reviews with, "I get it...," then offering that it's just not my bag. I think this makes me a poor music critic since my commentary tends to be related to my mood at the time rather than the broader space-time continuum of these records. This one just pales in comparison to the harder punk-rockabilly of The Raveonettes "Aly Walk With Me." That one never fails to get me to going.

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2

Pretty pants.

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2

I loved the awesome guitar sound (and playing) plus the driving up-tempo arrangements made some great music but I hated some of the singing, the female was particularly grating. Score is in the middle somewhere but I feel can't rate it 3 because I have enjoyed other 3/5 albums so much more than this.

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3/2/22 I’m torn because I like the composition and the sound of the album as a whole, but I hate their lyrics. I think the songs are stupid and a bit too repetitive. Feels like the B-52s but more chaotic. Overall not bad, but won’t listen to this again. Based off the lyrics I’m leaving towards a 2, but it would probably be 2.5 if I could. Favorite song: When our love passed out…

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2

Not bad. 2/5

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2

Not memorable punk

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1

Lidt alternativ 80’er rock,

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1

Ruk

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1

I cannot stand the vocals of any X song

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1

Nothing to see here, just some more really bad, old punk. I guess I'm simply not angry enough.

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1

Not so bad- easier to relate to than I thought

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1

ok i hate this fuck you for being right

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1

The longest 32 minute album I've ever heard. Mediocre punk/indie pop lacking in tunes or interesting songs. I like the dueting of the two singers and that's what saves it from 1 star.

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1

1

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Niet mijn ding. Ik ken de band niet en dat wil ik graag zo houden.

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A million years ago (1994) I was in Seattle for 9 days at the same time Bumbershoot was on. It was $9 per day although if you wanted to see X and Sunny Day Real Estate, neither of who I knew, it was a separate $10 ticket. So obviously I didn't go to see them and instead saw Penn & Teller be amazing doing loads of slight of hand in a small theatre and Richard Thompson (with Danny Thompson on double bass) basically playing on the pavement for $9. And some random stuff I've long since forgotten about although I do have a t-shirt in a bin bag in my parent's attic in the UK. Anyway, I moved to Australia and there's a completely different band called X who I'd never heard of either. I've seen the Australian X and they were pretty good. The US band are a bit punk-by-numbers years after this type of punk was in fashion everywhere else. It doesn't even really have memorable songs/hooks/melodies etc and is all a bit plodding 4/4. It feels a lot longer than its 32 minutes, never a good sign when about half the songs are less than 2 minutes.

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1

woman vocal is making this album bad

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12/07/2021 Today's Album: "Wild Gift" by X - The Once over Twice is very strange and I honestly don't really like it. It drags on and repeats this sorta off sounding chorus. There's a cool solo in this song but it doesn't really redeem the shitty rest of the song. The next song is even more annoying and droning. The instrumentals in Adult Books are less annoying but they still don't really sound good or pay off in any way. Im going to stop reviewing this track by track and just suffice to say, this album sounds awful. It's very droney and samey throughout each song and the vocalists always sound off pitch and stuttery. Actual garbage 80s art rock Score: 1/10 painful to listen to Highlights: N/A

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1

Honestly couldn't stand both of the vocalists which made the experience frustrating as there is decent guitar and bass going on here. White Girl was probably the best song on here. At least it was short I guess.

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