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Ex People - Bird

(Vinyl LP)

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Emerging from the London DIY scene is stoner sludge four-piece Ex People, the latest in a line of bands seeking to push the heavy template yet further. Their bruisingly assured debut album Bird was recorded with Wayne Adams (Vodun, USA Nails, Death Pedals, Casual Nun) who managed to perfectly capture the visceral weight of the group's sound, a startling amalgam of super filthy fuzz thick riffs, grunge, noise rock and stoner, combined with a punk attitude.

Taking their cue from bands as diverse as Electric Wizard, Bardo Pond, Harvey Milk and Kylesa, along with '90s sludge such as the Melvins (yet still managing to sound cohesive) the ten tracks that make up Bird, combine stoner hooks and soaring vocals with a crushing heaviness. Add to that some thumping motorik beats (almost like a heavy Neu at times), shot through with an ever-present melodic sensibility, and you have a band that once again shows that when it comes to heavy music, all gates are open.

Drawing on apocalyptic and dystopian themes, "Over" tells the story of a planet colliding with the earth, over a driving, crunching circular riff. Other tracks tackle real-world horror, with "The Host" about a woman and child escaping domestic violence, and opening track "Not a Drill" calling for resistance against oppressive regimes. And album closer "Crested" is as dark as it gets, 8 minutes of full on doom meets discord, combining the atmospherics of Windhand with the slowed down hardcore of My War-era Black Flag.

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