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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Ex - 'Pokkeherrie' (Ex)

Pokkeherrie is Dutch for "so much noise", at least according to Google Translate, and it's a nice to hear their native tongue, even if G.W. Sok "raps" in English throughout this and other Ex records. Situated chronologically slightly after Tumult, this isn't miles apart from that record in sound, if anything being a bit more straightforward than it's predecessor. There's some longer songs, some successful ('1,000,000 Ashtrays') and some less so ('Soviet Threat', which gets bogged down in its own wordiness and quotes Eliot's world-ending whimper, which I'm getting sick of hearing about). If mid-80s Ex has the tendency to turn into endless tom-tom pounding over distorted mush, here guitarist Terrie palm starts to develop his unique technique that works so well later in the 90s in both improv jazz and 'world' music contexts. It's a bit more palm-muting, more errant notes, and a willingness to break away from the rather staccato rhythm section of Katrin and Luc. This is not a quiet record in the slightest, living up to its title, as even when a track starts out in a creaky, exploratory mood ('Hit the Headlines', 'Rumours of Music') it falls into that Ex sound quickly. The artwork is classic black and white crust with lyrics written out so you can follow along, with some bizarre, Ettamogah Pub style cartoons on the back. Everything is done according to plan here, and it's a solid record, but it feels a bit superfluous after just listening to Tumult and knowing what was soon around the Cor(a)ner. 

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