Ex Hex “Rips”
Ex Hex are a power trio from Washington DC who describe their sound as being “unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll spat out in the disciplines mother tongue” which sound pretty cool to us. They’re clearly a very talented bunch of musicians and furiously recorded this album over a span of just two weeks. The result is a group of songs that covers rock n roll lyrical material such as under dogs, guys stealing your wallet and school yard brawls.
First song “Don’t Wanna Lose” is a great intro to the album as it’s just the first of many crunching, indie pop songs. That spirit is kept going with songs like “Beast” and “You Fell Apart” which are just swaggering tunes but with a cool alternative and grungy pop feel to them.
They show a willingness to add a more pop feel to the sound on “Waste Your Time” which has an almost power pop feel to it but with some added grit. Whilst “How You Got That Girl” sees that feeling amplified even further with a song that has some great backing vocals. Tracks like “Hot And Cold” and “Radio On” are just majestic songs and it’s almost like you have a band with the aching coolness of The Strokes but delivering some Cheap Trick songs. In the ideal world, these would indeed be the type of song you heard when you turned your radio on (guess 6 music is as close as we will get to that!).
The band do bring back a dirtier and punkier style with the likes of “New Kid” and “Everywhere” which suggests that an old Ramones album is never far from their turntables. The ‘spiky’ sound is kept going on “War Paint” before it builds in to yet another catchy gem. It all then comes to an end with “Outro” a great power pop hit that has an almost seventies/dreamy feel to it.
This is a great album full of quality crunching pop tinged songs. It retains a level of alternative quirkiness which means it never strays in to cliché territory. It actually reminds us of another cult band called Those Darlins. However, whilst that band has tended to get bogged down in a darker, grungier tone, Ex Hex are more willing to allow the songs to have a sparkle. This gives the album a commercial edge which will hopefully see them getting some well-deserved wider coverage and exposure.