Showing posts with label ex hex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ex hex. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2019

video review: 'it's real' by ex hex

So I've had this for a few days... and I wish it was better. Still good, but after such a long wait, I really wanted this to be great.

Ah well - next up should be something I've been waiting to review all week, so stay tuned!

Friday, March 22, 2019

album review: 'it's real' by ex hex know, it's going to be a cheap tagline repeated by many fans and critics following this group upon hearing that the album is dropping, but it's true: somehow it's real, we're getting another Ex Hex album!

Now for those of you out of the loop, Ex Hex is a scuzzy, garage-leaning, almost punk indie rock act fronted by Mary Timony, who you might know from Helium or especially in recent years from her involvement in Wild Flag, an all-too-brief project fronted by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney that put out one project and then folded when Sleater-Kinney reformed. And honestly, I thought a similar fate was going to crop up for Ex Hex - Mary Timony pulled up Betsy Wright on bass and Laura Harris on drums and cut together a straightforward but critically adored album called Rips in 2014. Now I did review it five years ago, and while I was a bit cooler on it than most - Timony never quite wowed me as a frontwoman and there were some rough patches in the production - the hooks were phenomenal and the writing was great, which led the project to maintain some solid replay value as just a great three-piece rock act. But it's been five years - you'd think the group would strike when the iron was hot, especially with the critical acclaim, but we finally got a follow-up - so what did Ex Hex deliver on It's Real?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

video review: 'rips' by ex hex

Pretty damn solid album - not quite as good as most of the critics are raving about, but still very good.

Okay, before the week from hell, I might cover that Objekt record first. Stay tuned!

album review: 'rips' by ex hex

I've talked about in the past how indie rock musicians tend to have several bands and side-projects firing at once, some in the hopes that one will actually strike gold, and some because they have different musical ideas and genres they want to explore. But indie rock did not invent this phenomenon by any stretch, and if you want to look at where it's probably most prevalent, you need to look at punk.

And the story of this band begins around two decades ago in the exploding punk and indie scenes of the 90s, particularly surrounding feminist-themed riot grrl. The first important band of the scene was Sleater-Kinney, the critically beloved band full of explosive energy and who were way more mature and intelligent than most punks of their scene. They released several essential albums throughout the 90s before fading away gracefully in the 2000s to go on hiatus. The second important act of the time was Helium, an alt-rock act that would come to be fronted by Mary Timony, an eclectic singer-songwriter would bounce around a fair bit, the tepid reception of Autoclave to a few solo efforts that really didn't go anywhere. And in the late 2000s, all of their careers appeared to have stalled out somewhat, at least in music. Carrie Brownstein was focusing on the cult comedy show Portlandia, Janet Weiss was doing work with Stephen Malkmus and Conor Oberst, and Mary Timony was working on one of many side projects.

Yet in 2010, with keyboardist Rebecca Cole of The Minders, they managed to pull together into the supergroup Wild Flag for a self-titled album, and it seemed like a second life had been breathed into their careers, especially considering Brownstein used her TV show to give the band visibility most indie rock acts never got. The album was critically acclaimed for damn good reason, and from there, it seemed like anything was possible. And yet the success of Wild Flag was short-lived, as it was announced that Sleater-Kinney would be reuniting for a comeback record next year. Undaunted, Mary Timony called up Laura Harris, formerly of Aquarium, and Betsy Wright, formerly of Fire Tapes and Childballads for a new group called Ex Hex, named after one of her solo albums and in record time, a debut album was ready, called Rips. And let's be fair, there were some real expectations for this band, given Mary Timony's knack for melodic riffs and deftly textured songwriting. So what did we get with this?