If I had to pick a singular reason why I love writing about music, I can honestly say it would be having the opportunity to hear some of the best shit before any of my friends do. Now I’m not a proud man, it’s a petty and unnecessary flex, I don’t mind admitting this. I’m sure that all in my privileged position will agree that there’s an inherent joy to discovering something new and inhabiting the role of the augur, to prophecy the coming of greatness, and finally to bask in the smug gratification of ‘I told you so’. Today, it is our pleasure at Everything Is Noise to premiere what I’m certain will be one of this year’s essential albums, a hardcore classic in the making. The artist is Ex Everything, and you can hear their debut album Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart right here, right now, before anyone else.
‘Hope without action is meaningless’. Not the words of your average armchair commentator, but those of the truly agitated, those that are sickened by systemic failure, and that do not sit idly as the capitalist machine blunts what it means to be human in the name of profit. The aforementioned quote is of dissonant Bay Area furies Ex Everything, and let me start by saying that if you are in any way inclined towards frenetic US heavyweights like Converge, Botch, Dillinger, or KEN Mode, then there is a shit ton for you to enjoy here. ‘The music is a fusion of dischord-influenced math rock and noisecore, a nuanced rage that refuses to accommodate the passive listener.’
Indeed, anger is often the fuel that burns the hottest, and how hot does it burn when channelled with such uncompromising manic skill as displayed here. Barely a minute in and the opening track, the abrasively titled “The Reduction of Human Life to an Economic Unit”, spits fire with jagged slews of raw adrenaline, delivered through hostile barks and musical nonconformity. It is difficult to consign Ex Everything to a singular umbrella, indeed their music veers violently through the realms of post-hardcore, mathcore, sludge, metalcore, screamo, and more. Such is its aggressive and angular approach to heavy music, one fears this aural creature might lash out of the speaker cones to assault any suggestion of pigeonholing. Featuring past and present members of Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves, Mercy Ties, Blowupnihilist, Less Art, and others, it should come as no surprise that Slow Change… absolutely delivers on all fronts, an unruly display from seasoned veterans of aggression.
From a production perspective, the incandescent bile and vitriol is captured perfectly, carrying the immediacy and carnage of live performance yet bearing the clarity to sharply fill the sonic landscape. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles thrown in here either, it’s an album that excels at unapologetically punching the listener straight in the nose. Whether it’s the persistent punkish energy of “Slow Cancellation of the Future” or the churning sludge infusion of “The Last Global Slaughter”, the album won’t give you a moment’s peace, conjuring aggro in even the most placid of listener. I too experienced an immediate growing frustration at similar issues closer to home, despite speaking of their experiences in San Francisco, there’s a universality to such a ubiquitous state of mind. Though there are thousands of miles and an ocean between myself and Ex Everything, the outspoken energy of Slow Change… is wildly contagious, and I was infected with an alarming ease.
‘Whilst the album is a depiction of people losing connection with each other, the shows that the band put on see their audiences coming together in catharsis and fighting back against this separation. In this case, hope inspires action – a knock-on effect of community through art. ‘We want these songs to move people the way they move us […] Because this band is nothing without that.’
Despite being a brand new formation, Ex Everything have already found a home with the fabled Neurot Recordings, home to some of the century’s most forward thinking and respected extreme artists, and it’s a home to which they are well suited. Heck, if Neurosis think they’re good, they must be doing something right, right? I have no doubt that this project will spread like wildfire, and I sincerely hope that it does. Works that stick to their guns and stay true to their emotions can be few and far between. But this album is uninterested in the trappings of fame, immune to the influence of fortune, it’s an ardent soliloquy that has a singular purpose, to unite the people against a common enemy.
If my words haven’t convinced you already, then I’m sure but a fraction of exposure to the album’s wiles will. Head on over to the embedded player to stream Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart in its entirety, and if you’re as eager to add it to your collection as I was, you can pre-order the digital album over on Ex Everything‘s Bandcamp page, or acquire a physical copy on the Neurot Recordings website. The album sees its full release on November 10 (that’s tomorrow!) and be sure to follow the band over on Instagram for all their latest updates. Well go on, get on with it then!