14 May 2011

THE EX


It's rather difficult to write an entertaining, informative and/or insightful blurb about a band as influential and legendary as THE EX. Equal parts GANG OF FOUR, CRASS and WIRE, early incarnations of THE EX created some of the most brilliant post punk, but (much like WIRE) did so while punk was still in it's first incarnation (ie; before there was a "post"). 1982's History Is What's Happening is a brilliant, if not flawless record, full of meaning but never remotely pretentious. Their proficient and imaginative songwriting created a vibe not unlike MINUTEMEN or even BIG BOYS - minimal yet still complex (and bass guitar heavy), advanced but accessible. This tape, a wonderful example of the positive results of liberal home taping, features all 20 songs from the LP with four additional EX tunes crammed onto the end before the Dutch additions to yesterday's Belgian comp ("Introduction/Human Car" come from the live 7" that accompanied their 1980 debut LP Disturbing Domestic Peace, "New Wars" also from that LP, and a song listed as "Constitutional State" which is quite possibly not actually the song "Constitutional State," even though a very nice mix tape maker in 198? went to the trouble to type the title on the the cover....I can only share what I know). These politics, and this imagination, seem to represent a specific time in punk...and I think that statement is perhaps more observational criticism of punk today than it is praise of THE EX, but I listen to this music and I just want more. Both for myself and (more importantly) from myself. The title says it all....


THE EX are still active (very active) today, and are still very worth checking out, both recorded (you can buy all of their in print records directly from them) and live. I suggest that you do so, even if you don't feel like downloading the digital version of a cassette that was taped from a decades old copy of a record that, by all rights, you should already have.


5 comments:

Psota said...

great stuff. Saw The Ex back in 1990 with No Means No opening. Unforgettable.

Baron Gaius Silenus Von Noisehiem said...

this is great. thx!

joel said...

had to download this, just to see if "constitutional state" was correctly labeled or was some mystery song. (its "meanwhile", off disturbing domestic peace) the ex are truly my favorite band in the history of the universe, and to top it off, some of the nicest people ever, and a damn fine live band. constantly evolving and changing, yet always remaining the ex.

zhollows said...

Such a great band. So much so, my band was named after an Ex song (too bad we weren't nearly as good though!)

ryan said...

a must-have for anyone with ears.