Saturday, January 24, 2015
By golly, you know you're truly a hopeless cause when you turn 43 and spoil yourself by purchasing a cassette from a local band as a way of patting yourself on the back for living another year on earth. But that's what I did this past week, and in hindsight, there are worse predicaments and habits for a middle-aged white man such as myself.
EXEK are a new-ish four-piece and I know next to zip about 'em. They have a pedigree of sort, I'm told. Haven't seen them live yet - I missed them by a minute or two when they played a city dive w/ the mighty CUNTZ a couple of months back - though my friends in attendance noted that I really would have liked them and that they exuded a dark and cold post-punk vibe one can only perfect (or even attempt) after a few hundred ingestions of Metal Box. Sounds like my kinda party!
I heard this cassette, 'limited' (as they all must be) and released on the Time And Space label, soon thereafter and have been streaming it a fair bit since right here. Despite my protests of late that I need no more physical product in my life, the allure of the tape hit me upon viewing the other day, and a purchase was made. I have been a staunch critic of the 'cassette revival' in recent years, that I confess, but an additional confession must be that I have been somewhat won over to the format in recent times, or at the very least more tolerant. My criticism of the format's pain-in-the-ass nature in regards to locating songs in a playlist has, in this attention-deficit day and age, become its advantage: one is forced to listen to a release to its conclusion, track by track, taking in every second. After all, the alternative will possibly drive you nuts.
This waffle aside, EXEK make an excellent racket, and that's a decision you can make for yourself upon hearing it. The opening cut, 'Submitted', has the stench of Lydon/Levene/Wobble all over it, but of course that is not such a bad thing, especially given the high quality of the guitar scratching throughout. The darkwave gloom continues for three more tracks, and a I sense a Euro-damaged (and almost Tuxedomoon/Ralph Records: and yes, I know they're not European) vibe throughout, and for a group of Antipodean delinquents with little track record outside of this 20-minute cassette, I'd say they've nailed an ace PiL/Cabaret Voltaire hybrid of sorts, and I need to see and hear more of what it is EXEK do.