12 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's no shortage of good, current music that could be labeled "punk" these days. Considering the genre was born nearly 40 years ago (sorry, we know that hurts), the fact that bands like The Men, Total Control, and Ceremony exist and continue to reinvent the genre with fresh energy and ideas is a testament to the musical revolution of the '70s. Memphis is a hotbed of activity, and Ex-Cult is among the latest bands to light up the basement scene there. For this record, though, the band traveled to San Francisco to put friend and fan Ty Segall behind the board. The 12 tracks here have a muffled, dirty sound (basementy, if you will). This is prudent, as music this explosive might do some damage were it produced for mass consumption or "American Idol" fans. The opening track, "Knives on Both Sides," is a bristling, feral headbanger that manages to combine The Saints' melodic punch and Joy Division's desperate aggression; that killer "Warsaw" riff must be an homage. It's the perfect entrée to the rest of the album, which comfortingly assures us that punk's not dead. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's no shortage of good, current music that could be labeled "punk" these days. Considering the genre was born nearly 40 years ago (sorry, we know that hurts), the fact that bands like The Men, Total Control, and Ceremony exist and continue to reinvent the genre with fresh energy and ideas is a testament to the musical revolution of the '70s. Memphis is a hotbed of activity, and Ex-Cult is among the latest bands to light up the basement scene there. For this record, though, the band traveled to San Francisco to put friend and fan Ty Segall behind the board. The 12 tracks here have a muffled, dirty sound (basementy, if you will). This is prudent, as music this explosive might do some damage were it produced for mass consumption or "American Idol" fans. The opening track, "Knives on Both Sides," is a bristling, feral headbanger that manages to combine The Saints' melodic punch and Joy Division's desperate aggression; that killer "Warsaw" riff must be an homage. It's the perfect entrée to the rest of the album, which comfortingly assures us that punk's not dead. 

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