Girl Power. It’s really not a term I want to use, but it’s pretty fitting in this case. Perhaps too fitting, if that’s even possible. Because Ex Hex are an all-female three-piece that will rock you, as the Germans like to say, like a hurricane.
Party Guy. Boots. T$. Powers combined they are Ex Hex, and they’re here for one reason: to rock.
Ex Hex are made up of Party Guy, Boots, and T$, whose mums know them as Mary Timony, Laura Harris and Betsy Wright, and who play the drums, bass and lead guitar. Note I didn’t say respectively, this is a three-way mix’n’match you’ll have to figure out for yourselves. They combine to make some garage rock’n’roll that makes one feel it’ll be only a matter of time until the Eagles of Death Metal take them under their wing, to be the Qui-Gon Jinn to their Obi-Wan Kenobi.
There’s not much to what these girls put out – there’s no bars of 13/8 snuck in, or references to Jeremy Bentham – but it is pure fun. It’s just like, total rock, man. Plus, the fact that the singer/guitarist looks like Rhonda from those Indonesian ads* probably subconsciously adds to party factor. The girls are about to do a month long tour of Europe, and then a little one of America when they get back, in support of their album Rips, which came out last year at around October-time.
In Don’t Wanna Lose, we can mostly see that I wasn’t talking smack when I said this band loves to rock. Straight-up, uncomplicated guitar and drum work drive their pursuit to old- fashioned fun. And also we can see how much they love being kitsch. There’s bright pantyhose, leopard print, roller skates and an unashamed over-use of overdone and out-of-fashion tropes, like the mid-motion freeze frame at the end.
The video for Waterfall, also off the upcoming Rips is even kitschier. There’s bright, epileptic colours scattering in every shot, with big 90s-esque random shapes invading the frames. The visual styles also somehow manages to combine 50s and 90s styles, so I guess that’s an accomplishment in nostalgia. Musically though, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Waterfall and Don’t Wanna Lose. It’s still simple garage rock. It does however come across as somewhat duller than Don’t…, carrying the same vibe as Weezer’s beige alternative pop/rock output. Okay, maybe not that dull.
This band also loves clap-alongs. There were claps at the end of ‘Don’t…’, and there’s a clapping beat in New Kid. New Kid, which will also feature on Rips, is still very much a rock’n’roll song but doesn’t seem as cheery as Don’t…. It’s not dull like Waterfall, but it seems as if they’re usual live fast attitude was temporarily derailed during this song’s recording because they were hungover.
I think that’s about it really. Did I mention they’re from Washington DC? I’ve alternately heard that it’s awesome, and batshit boring, in case you want some vague travel advice. If you haven’t accidentally stumbled onto Happy whilst trying to Google Lonely Planet, if you’d like to hear more you can try Ex Hex’s social pages.
*Ed. That would be AAMi’s safe driver rewards ads**
**Ed. Mehthinks a sponsorship deal is in order!***
***How many fucking editors does this magazine have?
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