Ex Hex: ‘Rips’ Album Review

Merge Records
Merge Records

Ex Hex is an all-female trio from Washington DC that’s led by singer/guitarist Mary Timony, former member of the band Wild Flag, which was a brief but epic band in the earlier 2010s. Ex Hex is essentially the Ramones meets The Donnas, an all female punk band with influences of 80’s punk. Last year they released their debut album Rips, an album filled with riffs, hooks and great rock.

Though this album has a lot of punk influences, Rips comes off as more relaxing and fun compared to the more aggressive bands and songs in the punk genre. This is the type of music you could hear at the beach or in a convertible driving by. It’s very laid back and cool. The album is pretty short, clocking in at a mere thirty-five minutes. Yet Ex Hex blazes through the tracks with pure energy, bringing out hard-charging sounds. The songs themselves are mainly about men, how their relationship is with the opposite sex and how disappointing males can be at times. They’re great tales and the lyrics don’t come off sounding tragic or bleak.   

The vocals have a great touch on the album. With enthusiastic wails that echo through the record singing “whoa-oh-oh’s” really makes a lot of these songs fun. They go hand and hand with the impressive hooks that truly make a lot of these songs very catchy. Speaking of hooks, Rips has a lot of them, along with a good amount of riffs in the music. Everything sounds stripped down and fast. It keeps the listener engaged and it comes off sounding awesome.

The only real problem this album has is the lyrical depth. It’s a bit lacking in that area. Because these songs are so short the lyrical content doesn’t really pack too much of a punch. At times the chorus repeats a tad too much, and at other times, when you’re listening to the lyrics and you start getting a feel for the song, the track ends right before it really gets good. This is part of another larger problem I had with the album. It’s very short. I’d even say it’s too short. I was jamming to the tunes on my phone when I realized that the music started back on the first track. However, even though the album ends too quickly, there’s still a good message in the songs. I only wish that it lasted a tad bit longer.

Rips is a tight collection of punk songs that really delivers. It may lack in length, but this is still a solid record. It’s the type of album that will make you pull off some serious air guitar moves and it will not disappoint any music listener especially any punk enthusiast. I urge people to give this album a shot. It’ll truly rock your socks off.