Back in March, the Washington, DC punk rockers Ex Hex released their sophomore album It’s Real. It followed up their 2014 debut, Rips, which burst on the scene with rip-roaring guitars and melodic ingenuity. Before Ex Hex, frontwoman Mary Timony solidified her standing as a beloved indie fixture, playing in Autoclave and Helium, while also releasing solo music. She also was a member of Wild Flag, the disappointingly short-lived band with Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss.
Before its release, we got to hear some amazing singles from It’s Real, including “Cosmic Cave,” “Tough Enough,” and “Rainbow Shiner.” And now that the album’s been out for a bit, they’re sharing two more.
Up first is “It’s Real,” which would have been the album’s title track had it been included. There’s also a kickass cover of Slant 6’s “What Kind Of Monster Are You?” The choice of material makes some sense, as Slant 6’s singer and guitarist Christina Billott was also in Autoclave with Timony. The homage is wickedly executed, exchanging some of that raucous fuzz for cleaner emphasis on the central melody. Much like Slant 6’s iconic original, the dual guitars add a level of height as they soar through levels of gain and distortion.
Stream “It’s Real” and “What Kind of Monster Are You?” below.
“It’s Real” and “What Kind Of Monster Are You” are out now on Merge and available for purchase here.