Track Review

Track Review: The Cancer Redux // Exxyle

After placing music on the backburner in 1998, Frank Loots is picking up where he left off with his solo project Exxyle. Taking the plunge in mid-2020, Frank opted to pursue his passion for music on a full-time basis – something that can be seen as both admirable and stupid. Yet, in his own words, he “…may have bitten off more than I can chew, but as long as it tastes like meat and beer and bikes and babes, the rock must go on!” We can’t agree more!

At the moment a relatively new face in the music scene, the UK-based multi-instrumentalist is primarily a recording artist without any performances under his belt. The thing is, I might not see Frank live but his music transports you to a gig where you will headbang yourself into oblivion but love the giddy effect afterwards. Featured on Sinusoidal Music, Less Than 1000 Followers, Roadie Music and various playlists, Exxyle is taking the world by storm.

Drawing together the sounds of Motörhead, Stone Sour and Five Finger Death Punch, Frank Loots is bringing old-school hard rock to the 21st century. Recorded in his home studio, Frank adopted a DIY approach writing, recording and producing all his music. In the case of ‘The Cancer Redux’, there was the collaboration with producer Terry Beckley and we can’t really leave that uncredited because of the superb musical arrangement. Layering powerful vocals over hard-hitting guitars to create a breathtaking force of rock is not a simple task.

As a multi-instrumentalist, we can attribute the pounding drums and screeching guitars to Frank Loots himself. Ear-breaking and heavy-hitting, you are hit full in the face with hard rock sounds from the get-go. Is ear-breaking a word? It is now because that is one of the simplest ways to describe the fierce force that is ‘The Cancer Redux’. Yet, it is not only his instrumental skills that make me gasp but the lyrical content as well. Just as upbeat and insane as the melody is, the lyricism is profound and evocative.

Penned several years ago, ‘The Cancer Redux’ has been on the backburner with Frank thinking it was not as impactful as he wanted; however, now is the time for this provocative and controversial take on society. Touching on the theme of systematic oppression and the presence of a hyper-capitalist authority, Frank “lays it all out” in this insightful tune. Frank shares that “…the music tells stories of systematic oppression of individuality and freedom using systems of manipulation and control curated over centuries to control a large population.”

Based on the intensity of the song with its intimate and thought-provoking content, I find ‘The Cancer Redux’ the perfect soundtrack for George Orwell’s 1984. Living in a dystopian world where you don’t have control over, well, almost anything is perfectly represented in this song. Yet, while you can see the darkness, the music also provides a sense of empowerment, understanding and comfort as it “..encourages the redemption of free will, recognition of the important things in life, recognition that the individual is intrinsically valuable and value is not determined by function.” It’s a moving and significant track that we definitely need this uncertain time. I love it!!

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