Nick Sakes:
Vocals, Guitar

Chrissy Rossettie:
Drums, Electronics & Backing Vocals






track listing:

1) Lives On Nerve
2) Sick Sneak
3) X Train
4) Busted Circuits
5) Falls Off The Bone
6) The High Hat
7) Dropping Knives Down The Well
8) Rickety Surveillance
9) Hit Cancel
10) Stark Terms


Nick Sakes boasts one of those impeccable underground-rock track records. His discography to date encompasses three brilliant, insular projects: prog-minded post-hardcore nightmare merchants Dazzling Killmen, cryptic art-punk psychos Colossamite and the skewed yet surprisingly tuneful Sicbay. Now, more than two decades on from Sakes's recording debut, comes the part where we inform you that the guitarist/shrieker has "matured," and is prepping his first singer-songwriter record or somesuch. Except that's entirely false; Sakes's latest band, Xaddax-- a duo with drummer Chrissy Rossettie -- is as challenging and gloriously cathartic as anything he's done to date.

Sakes and Rossettie met at Chicago's Fireside Bowl back in 2001, when Sicbay shared a bill with Rossettie's former band, the head-spinning neo–No Wave outfit My Name Is Rar-Rar. Flash forward to '09, when Sakes (then living in Minneapolis) and the Brooklyn-based Rossettie reconnected online and struck up a long-distance romance. Soon Sakes headed east, and within a few months, the pair had hatched a new musical entity, named Xaddax in honor of their shared love of "palindromes and pointy letters." A flurry of live shows commenced.

Counterclockwork, the debut Xaddax release is a must-hear for any Nick Sakes fan, but what's most impressive about the 25-minute LP is the way it places his trademark livid howl in an entirely new context. Working with a mad-scientist electroacoustic drum set-up -- huge toms, no cymbals, various sample-triggering pads and a foot-controlled synth pedal -- Rossettie pounds out lurching math-disco rhythms, haloed in scuzzy sci-fi FX. Sakes responds with perversely anthemic riffs and mantra-like shouts, resulting in a kind of hot-wired hardcore -- like Devo gone nastily dystopic. In a sense, Counterclockwork sounds like nothing Nick Sakes has ever done, but the record's spirit -- venemous aggression combined with bold ingenuity -- fulfills every promise of one of the most fiercely uncompromising discographies in contemporary American music.

In advance of the XADDAX final exam, here are two excellent primers:

o Hank Shteamer has taken some time out
from his busy schedule at Time Out NY to pen
“Sums of Parts: Nick Sakes from DAZZLING KILLMEN to XADDAX”

o And here is an invaluable interview with
Chrissy Rossettie, conducted by HEY DRUMMER, YOU RULE!


o "Energetic & vital!" - KK Null / Zeni Geva

o "There is a certain category of well-known DIY-rock lifer who's been around forever and has been in a long string of bands. Folks like Ian MacKaye, Ben Weasel, Dave Pajo, Walter Schreifels, Mick Barr - even icons like Robert Pollard or Kathleen Hanna fit in this general classification. But if anyone's keeping some sort of master ledger of these sorts of folks and Nick Sakes Dazzling Killmen, Colossamite, Sicbay and now XADDAX), isn't on it, that list is incomplete. In terms of combining raw aggression with unconventional yet totally memorable form, Nick Sakes is one of the most potent musicians I've ever heard. Chrissy Rossettie plays a hot-wired electroacoustic kit, which she wields like a post-industrial orchestra. Since there are only two members of XADDAX, the division-of-labor vibe is right in front of your face: What Rossettie brings to the table... as drummer and full-spectrum sound generator—is an inspired short-circuiting-cyborg vibe." - Dark Forces

o "Face Of Collapse" the debut album by Xaddax frontman Nick Sakes band Dazzling Killmen, was declared the top heavy album of the 90's by Alternative Press. "Sounds like Dave Bruebeck's Time Out played through Carcass' PA system." - Alternative Press