The Exies, a four-piece modern rock outfit from Southern California is aggressive, sonic, melodic, electronic, but mostly they are vital and emotionally engaging. I was tipped off to this amazing rock band by just reading some other critics review much like this one. And I was thrilled to find something of substance amongst the rest of the crud that is being thrust at us right now. This CD possesses some of the most brilliant material melodically that has come out of the early part of this decade. Their major label debut Inertia is a radio programmer's dream with catchy hooks, clever lyrics and passionate guitar riffs.
These guys who have commonly been compared with the Beatles for their stylistic qualities and melodic hooks that permeates throughout their music and enters your brain rendering you hopeless to their catchy choruses. After two listens, you will be singing most of the lyrics right in sync with Scott Stevens, lead vocalist. Even their name has been derived as a nickname the Beatles used to give to hipster existentialists in Hamburg in the '60s.
Inertia, is comprised of eleven tracks and a brief 36 minutes of incredible rock 'n' roll music, which injects aggressiveness, but with a softness like in the opening song, "My Goddess." The tune combines electronic music with sonic sound and uses vibrato effect on Scott Stevens's vocals that excites the listener. Stevens has a sense of immediacy and slickness on this track, which is also presented as a video bonus track on the disc. Scott Stevens, vocals/guitar, Dennis Wolfe, drums, David Walsh, guitar and Freddy Herrera, bass, raise the bar for other musicians by their use of poetic lyrics not normally found in this genre. Their music is one of hope, internal introspection and love both self and romantic.
Stand out tracks would include "Can't Relate," "Lo-Fi," "Irreversible," "Genius," and, of course, "Creeper Kamikaze", but every other reviewer has already singled out that track and for good reason.
"Can't Relate," is a straight-ahead rock track with a wholesome garage sound. You'll be banging your head alone to this track. It sounds retro, but is refreshingly relatable. Lyrically, they express their suffering in a failing relationship marred by an attempt to lessen the severity of the discord. One of their strong points is their innate ability to structure a song. They have the formula down and know how to twist it effectively.
"Lo-Fi," a melodic rap carried along with the use of electronic music in the background. This song I began singing loudly in my car on just the second listen. It's a mix of Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Collective Soul with a touch of the Beatles. Just love it. Slinky guitar riffs causes your head to bounce and hooky chorus has the songs circulating in your head for days.
"Irreversible," begins with a cool guitar intro followed by a sharp snare drum sound. The music and Stevens's seductive voice draws you into this tune, which is like enjoying a sensuous chocolate covered cherry. Once again, I feel like I'm being taken on a magic carpet ride with an intelligent lyrical interlude.
"Genius," has an acoustic intro and the use of strings, which brings you to crescendo midpoint of this haunting yet uplifting musical interval. Part of the magic the band captures on this disc resides in their conscious use of modulation, layering, memorable harmonies and their desire to be relevant.
Certainly, it's easy to draw parallels between, Stone Temple Pilot, Bush, Nirvana and the Beatles, but that's due to their intelligent use of melodies, sonic & electronic sound and sheer cockiness to do things their way. I definitely think that they already sound seasoned for lads in their early 20's. We can expect great things to come from them.
Susan Salva is a Contributing Writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.