Album Review: Ex Hex – It’s Real

Friday 08th, March 2019 / 16:49
 by Kenn Enns

Ex Hex – It’s Real
Merge Records

Mary Timony is nothing short of prolific. Through her work in Helium, Wild Flag and time spent in the Washington D.C. math-rock band Autoclave, her influence is expansive. Ex Hex is no exception. Certain tracks on this sophomore offering (“Another Dimension,” “Cosmic Cave”) wouldn’t feel out of place in Helium’s discography, but the band doesn’t rely on ’90s nostalgia. The vocal harmonies are layered on top of guitar solos and impressive riffs that act as a welcomed show of skill instead of feeling masterbatory or over-the-top.

It’s Real feels truly collaborative. You can hear bassist Betsy Wright’s recent work in her power-pop project, Bat Fangs, mesh well with Timony’s more hard rock leaning and evocative guitar play. The first single, “Tough Enough,” feels like what should be played as movie credits roll. With Timony crooning that she “thinks about it all the time / back when you were mine / four tears down your golden cheek / won’t bring that back to me” as the leads drive down an empty stretch of highway into the sunset.
Ex Hex lack the pretentiousness that often is associated with early success. Instead, they apply their clear skill to creating a record that is genuinely enjoyable and fun to listen to.