Posts Tagged ‘Laura Harris’

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Washington DC power rock group Ex Hex came onto the scene in 2014 with their excellent, loud debut Rips. Filled with big, raucous waves of guitar, the album embodied the type of rock ‘n’ roll that genre devotees were hungry for, which made sense; Mary Timony, founder of the influential ‘90s riot grrrl group Helium, helms the group alongside Betsy Wright on guitar and Laura Harris on drums. Their second studio album, It’s Real, which arrives March 22nd via Merge Records, along with the premiere of “Cosmic Cave” a guitar-shimmering single that Timony calls “Old style Ex Hex.” It’s lively garage rock with a bittersweet swirl of a chorus and cavernous-sounding embellishments, best experienced beyond the boundaries of headphones.

Timony and Wright explained that It’s Real found its form through the deliberate collaboration between the pair  their knack for continuous refinement feeding into their tightness in sound, execution, and their will to experiment. Whether it’s recording with ten amps at once or indulging in the weird effects of an old ‘80s headphone amp, Ex Hex are fully devoted to crafting the best sounds for blaring at maximum volume.

From the album It’s Real, out March 22nd, 2019 on Merge Records.


We’ve only been waiting a little over two years with bated breath for “Darkness Rains“, the third release from California’s Death Valley Girls; anxious only because after the promise of 2014’s “Street Venom” and the astounding “Glow in the Dark” back in 2016, it seemed like it could be a tall order to move the dial.

Well it may be a cliché to say a band is evolving, finding themselves, maturing if you will, but “Darkness Rains” finds Death Valley Girls reaching another level.

The third album can be a difficult hurdle for an artist; it’s the record where they discover what they are made of often writing from a clean slate. Just as Led Zeppelin’s third album or The Clash with “London Calling” found the iconic bands hitting their stride, “Darkness Rains” hits the target . The ten tracks here showcase a band that has a shitload of confidence in their writing and sound, shedding a touch of the fuzzy garage rawness of “Glow in the Dark” for a tighter, leaner more glammed out Stooges-proto-metal hell-spawn type of rock and roll.

Psychedelic haze, giant arena rock riffs, scuzzed-out wah-wah solos from Larry Schemel litter practically every song, with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden’s banshee wail leading wicked sing-along choruses. Bassist Alana Amram and drummer Laura Harris combine for a gut punch of a rhythm section.


It’s gothic, it’s psychedelic, it’s hypnotic, it’s rock and roll. “Darkness Rains”is an omnipotent force and Death Valley Girls are on the cusp of something big.

released October 5, 2018