Ex People - Bird album review

Insightful, eccentric sludge with a deeply dark underbelly

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With a multifarious past in riot grrrl and noise bands, Ex People were never going to be entirely without edge. Although superficially rooted in sludge and doom, this London-based quartet use their hypnotic, propulsive riffs and air of pot-enlightened obstinacy to facilitate some authentic lyrical insights in a genre that generally prefers to languish in a fog of arcane daftness. In particular, The Host’s feverish exploration of domestic violence resounds with real-world distress, vocalist Laura’s ghostly delivery made all the more powerful by the glutinous space rock barrage erupting around her. With shades of Melvins and Sleater Kinney peppering the bruising likes of Without, Dread and the perversely catchy You Creep, this is far from a perfunctory stoner scamper, but Ex People’s eccentricities never dwarf the thunderous, gritty power of those overdriven guitars.