Xanax 25

  • Xanax 25
  • Denial Fest (Futurist) 1995 
  • X-25
  • Tidy (Paradigm) 1997 

The ’90s affectation for naming bands after drugs (Codeine, Morphine, Halcion, etc.) found its most self-conscious proponent in this New York quartet, an incipient H.O.R.D.E.-friendly jam band whose only audibly distinctive feature is singer Jaik Miller, the second coming of Aqualung (or is that Live’s Ed Kowalczyk?). A lumbering rhythm section, Matt Stein’s chunky guitar routines and revealingly self-abusive songs about night sweats and suicidal tendencies actually add up to a dull but commercial “alternative” sound, rooted in the purity of passion. The nine-song Denial Fest includes a cover of Madder Rose’s “Swim” and a brief, meaningless guest vocal by Cher son Elijah Blue Allman. On sound alone, Xanax 25 is the kind of band that’s easy to dismiss until it suddenly sells a million records; it’s safe to assume, however, that the name precludes any such mainstream acceptance.

[Ira Robbins]