Bay Area post-hardcore quartet and recent Neurot Recordings signing Ex Everything have hope for the future. The caveat? “Hope without action is meaningless”. For this band, action comes in the form of creation, and creation comes in the form of frenetic, raw music, full of rage but driving for change in the system and in our lives. Their debut album, Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart arrives on the 10th November via Neurot Recordings.

The Bay Area quartet boasts current and former members of Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves, Mercy Ties, Blowupnihilist, Less Art and others, but they will be first to admit that Ex Everything is very much its own thing. Guitarist Jon Howell says, “It addresses the part of us that wants to write fast, chaotic, knotty, messy, pissed off music.”

The music is a fusion of Dischord-influenced math rock and noisecore, a nuanced rage that refuses to accommodate the passive listener. Jon’s percussive, angular playing is as impressive as it is baffling, with malformed chords and abstract melodies that still burrow effortlessly into your brain. Dan Sneddon’s drumming is a stampede of frenetic time signatures, deceptively understated patterns and anthemic bashing, while Ben Thorne’s bass roils underneath like a ship’s hull scraping the ocean floor.

The band’s true skill, though, lies in how their instruments interlock, the structuring of movements that grow songs from rotted dirges to triumphant war cries, rhythmic tension building until a riff explodes it into something unexpected and completely satisfying. Notably, the band welcomes Andre Sanabria to take over vocal duties, “Andre has been a musical force in all his previous bands. His vocal intensity is compelling,” Howell says. Sanabria screams like he’s trying to tear the songs apart, though he manages to find moments of almost zen-like contemplation. It’s a deft and mesmerising performance, aided by his deeply thoughtful lyrics about, as Howell says, the steady dismembering of the things that bind us.

Ahead of the album release we asked Jon to talk to us about 3 records that have influenced the sound of Ex Everything…

Richard Dawson – Nothing Important

Richard Dawson is the world’s greatest living musician and his records have been a massive influence on the way I write. His guitar parts are classically inspired “duelling melody” compositions that cover bass and treble while also being percussive enough to function as their own rhythm section. I love this type of playing, and on the Ex Everything record I tried to apply that same “playing all the parts” mentality to punk/heavy music.

I picked Nothing Important so I can write about the song ‘The Vile Stuff’. It begins with an off-kilter guitar section that sounds like Marc Ribot channeling Leo Kottke and then it glides into the rest of the song where an increasingly incensed narrator recounts increasingly messed up things he’s thought, experienced, or done. It’s a lovely, messy 16 minutes of droning fever-dream music. Truly, fucking genius shit.

Refused – Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent

When Dan (Sneddon – drums) started working on Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart, he relied on his baseline influence: Refused’s Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. With its relentless aggression and rhythmic hooks, David Sandström’s drumming is carved into Dan’s drummer DNA and left a clear imprint on the Ex Everything record.

An instructive example of the Refused influence comes from the song ‘The Slayer’. The speed is punishing, the toms hit so hard they feel like they’re being punched, and every snare roll feels like a burst of gunfire. If you go back and listen to Dan’s previous band Early Graves, you can hear that same influence in his style.

Botch – We Are The Romans

One of Dave Verellen’s contributions to punk/hardcore singing has been treating his vocals like an instrument that needs to fit within the guitar/bass/drum parts rather than just singing on top of the music. A clear example of this is Dave’s vocals on the Botch song ‘Saint Mathew Returns to the Womb’. Right off the top, he’s accenting the downbeat of each repetition and then leaving space for the guitar line to finish the repetition. It creates a hypnotic push/pull between the vocals and guitar where each can stand out without stepping on the other.

On the Ex Everything song ‘The Reduction of Human Life to an Economic Unit’, Andre (Sanabria – vocals) exercises that same kind of vocal restraint by yelling on the big rhythmic accents and leaving space for the guitar lines to ring out. The result is a cool merging of vocals and guitar where musically speaking, the guitars are starting a sentence which the vocals finish.

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