Little known Scottish band Ex have recently put out their 2nd ep, as with so many bands today it’s often hard to be heard in the crowd of new releases. Although today it’s a simple process to put a recording out from your bedroom, the downside is the amount of material on offer to us listeners. We no longer need a John Peel championing a cause from within having a tape recorder at the ready, as if he was working down a musical diamond mine trying to find a hidden gem. Ex might just have been one of those bands the balding unassuming scouser dug out for his avid listeners, they have a mid 70’s punk melody running through the edgy hooks and choruses from all 3 tracks.
Opening up with A.P.B. an acronym meaning “All Points Bulletin” , the siren sounding guitar sets the tone and pace that never wavers throughout the track. There are some nice chords mixed up with the crashing symbols, not drowning the crisp and clear vocals that shove the lyrics in your face. We end as we began, by getting chased by the cops till the sirens fade into the night. We head in to track 2 “Everthing You Know Is Wrong” a little softer on the ears, although you would not think it from the 1,2,3,4 intro before the first verse. There are some nice guitar lines running through this track behind the consistent bass and drums rumbling away, with a vocal that’s more harmonious than the first track.
Last up is what I think is the strongest track on the ep “Uniform”, it has the aggressive but melodic vocal with more than a hint of 70’s punk nostalgia to satisfy. The simple but effective arrangements where less is more, fits with the more aggressive lyrics delivered with disdain about its subject. The song points out the changes from young rebels to real life adults having to make a living; they no longer have fire in their belly and may have fallen into a horrendous life of wearing what the man says by day then beige and brown at night. It has a hooked chorus that gets a grip of your head after you hear it, something that Mr Peel was very partial to.
Although this ep is nothing new it is something that’s not around much today, its not skate punk, pop punk, Anarcho Punk or shout the loudest Punk. These are melodic, passionate, powerful songs with hooks and chorus to play loud sing along then dance to them live, now isn’t that’s what it’s all about.