While the album name suggests something very unwholesome—it’s actually code name for love—XXXX is everything a good dance-punk album stands for: a healthy dose of electronically charged synthesizer riffs, catchy beats and an edgy female vocalist.
XXXX is YSP!WSD!’s third release (fourth if you count the remixed album) from Toronto’s Paper Records. Based in Abbotsford, B.C., the band has caught much attention and, besides the reported trouble getting over the border to the U.S., they’ve gained top chart spots in Canada and globally.
The album is full of energy-charged pop-like songs such as the soon-to-be-overplayed Laura Palmer’s Prom and Dark Days. Lead vocalist Becky Ninkovic seems to have mellowed it out a touch since previous albums but her steady and edgy yet soft voice carries the band to well-received heights.
XXXX pushes the punk label a bit, more with looks than the actual songs, but will definitely be a crowd and club hit. YSP!WSD! will be making Canada proud, supporting Phoenix during the Olympic Winter Games on Jan. 22 at Vancouver’s Orpheum.