Alphabetland Review


A painting of a colorful logo with tall letters reading "ALPHABETLAND" in a forest with a lake that has a grey "X" below it on the ground

By: X

Release Date: May 1 2020

First and foremost…I want to apologize for everyone who has been waiting for this review. Over the last year since this record has come out, I was writing in my newsletters that I was gonna review it and was kinda pimping out the review of Alphabetland. But, since I am completely brain-dead apparently, I thought I had already wrote reviewed this album….ya, pretty sad I know.

I have recently jumped back into this record and wanted to know what I wrote about it when it first came out over a year ago; when I went back to go find my review there was nothing there and it hit me that I never even wrote one!

I thought I could get by without writing anything about this album and move onto the next thing, but this record is just too good to float under the radar!

X is a punk band from Los Angeles that formed in the late 70s and have paved the way for many other L.A./ punk bands throughout the 80s, 90s and even today in the 2020’s.

Although X released some live albums and other compilation albums throughout the 90s and 2000s, it had been over 25 years since X had dropped a studio album — the last record being hey Zeus which was released back in 1993.

We have been waiting for Alphabetland since 93 and it was really something that was worth the wait.

The cover of this album is really cool I think! I have seen this shot in real life at like farmers markets and on the side of the Up North highways. That farm like atmosphere with a giant metal sign in the middle of it all is just super pleasing to the eye and for me personally, it is something that I can connected with and wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it in real life.

Right out of the gate this record rocks with title track, Alphabetland. There is something about it that makes me just want to get up and dance but it also has something about it were I could just lay it bed and listen to it without any cares in the world.

The sounds on this record are authentic for X and I really appreciate that. They are cleaning up around the edges of their music and making it a little modern sounding, but they are not creating anything different from what we have been hearing since 1978.

I could write about all the songs on this record in PAINFUL detail, but to save everyone from having to read a 20 minute review…I’ll just talk about one or two.

Goodbye Year, Goodbye was one the song off this album that everyone everywhere could relate to when this first dropped. The lyrics were so perfect because we were all in our houses drinking coffee, watching life fly away from us and were basically going crazy— there were ups and downs, we all had things that we felt like we couldn’t get through and all of us wanted to get through this year before it got threw us.

The best song off this whole record is Cyrano deBerger’s Back and honestly it might be one of the best songs of all times.

The harmonies in this song give me freaking goosebumps and when you can find a song that does that…its a good freaking song. The way that band members, John Doe and Exene Cervenka, voices melt into one another is something I find just so magical!

There is also like some baritone sax (at least that is what is sounds like) that really adds some Violent Femmes like flare to the song that I really find enjoyable. I really like when bands use instruments you wouldn’t normally hear in rock/punk music…and put it into rock/punk music.

This song is a great example of that but so is the Violent Femmes song, Black Girls which is full of sax and horn and is just an out of body experience at a live show. But that’s a whole other band with a whole other sound so we will just drop them for the rest of this review.

All in all, this 27 minute record was something that I have even a hard time writing about because I can’t even put everything into words about how good it was and how it made me feel — I think it’s a sign of a well done record when you can’t even express your thoughts on paper! It obviously is hard to compare to anything like X’s debut album, Los Angeles, but Alphabetland has certain qualities that makes it its own record but it also holds qualities that are unique to the X sound and highlight some of their early stuff; I would give this record a 4/5.

I am really excited that I finally got this review out and got to share this great record with all the followers who may or may not listen to X!

Alphabetland can be found anywhere you listen to music and so can most of X’s other albums (I know there are a few missing from Spotify). If you have never heard anything by X, I highly recommend checking them out cuz they are pretty badass!

The band standing, with Exene holding a cat

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