Ex Hex really are a power trio. Mary Timony (guitar, vocals), Betsy Wright (bass, vocals), and Laura Harris (drums), are back with a collection of audacious larger than life riffs and brain grabbing hooks.
The group’s 2014 debut Rips was a luminous collection of potent gems that scored it top spots on numerous best of lists. Their frenzied and fun live shows won them fans across the globe.
The D.C. band’s second album It’s Real swaggers and shines with energy. Heaving chords and lingering codas layer underneath shimmering solos and pulsing drums. Crunching rock and glittering pop converge into towering brilliance. It’s a bold statement of intent and follows this up with powerful delivery.
The opening track ‘Tough Enough’ throbs with defiance, asking the listener the question “Are you tough enough (to let it go)?” through echoed vocals. The raving ‘Cosmic Cave’ sees glistening phased guitars underpin a sweet chorus at a frenzied pace. ‘Rainbow Shiner’ has been described by Wright as ‘a victory song’, and sees pummelling guitars explode with vivacity. More than one tune features scorching guitars and rampant solos. ‘Another Dimension’ is a love song about yearning for connection, and ‘Good Times’ is about the dark moments after a relationship break up.
Produced by Jonah Takagi (who also produced Rips), It’s Real was a more collaborative effort than its predecessor. Written by Mary and Betsy the group experimented at a frenzied pace parsing countless combinations of instruments, pedals, and amps, always with a curious and experimental lens. The pop is tough and bold, and the riffs vibrant and powerful.
The whole album shakes with frantic yet taut sonics, creating sounds that linger in your muscle fibres long after the tunes come to an end. At only 37 minutes it’s an album that doesn’t hang around long, but it kicks ass whilst it does.
It’s Real is released on 22nd March through Merge.