Sometimes you just need an old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll palette cleanser. Enter female power trio Ex Hex. Led by Helium and Wild Flag’s Mary Timony, the band rips out straightforward, lovable pop rock songs in the spirit of 70’s rock staples like the Pretenders, the Ramones, and Roxy Music. At just 12 minutes and 35 minutes, Ex Hex’s debut Rips moves with swiftness and cocksureness that is hard to resist.
“I Don’t Wanna Lose” is the sort of churning rocker that cuts through the nonsense and makes you just want to rock out. Timony’s soaring lead guitar on “I Don’t Wanna Lose”, “Beast” and others is always soaring and as hummable as the sung melodies. “Beast” feels like a 21st century remake of the Modern Lovers “Road Runner”, a relentless punk rocker that refuses to quit. “Waste Your Time” leads with Timony’s swirling guitar and has her taken on the vocal hiccups of her CBGB’s forefathers like Bryan Ferry, Richard Hell, and Blondie.
The guitar throughout Rips packs a really muscular punch, but Timony has the pop chops to match her rock abilities. “How You Got That Girl” has Timony channeling Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders with a swaggering pop song to match. “Waterfall” has the sort of propulsive guitar and bassline of Richard Hell and the Voidoids or the New York Dolls, a breakaway train with no sign of stopping. “Hot and Cold” and “Radio On” are quick and snappy like the Cars, and the short 2-3 minute song lengths allow these songs to blow by in a way you just want to start from track 1 all over upon finishing the album.
As long as people want to claim rock ‘n’ roll is dying, there will always be an artist like Ex Hex that comes along and promptly tells people to shut up with an unrelenting rock ‘n’ roll spirit. So whether you believe in rock ‘n’ roll or not, Ex Hex’s Rips will make you a believer.
Can’t Miss: “I Don’t Wanna Lose”, “Waterfall”, “How You Got That Girl”, “Beast”
Can’t Hit: None