EX HEX – Rips
“I got no regrets,” Mary Timony proclaims, midway through Ex Hex’s debut album. As with many of the tracks here, it’s a worldly-wise dismissal of some creepy ne’er-do-well, glistening with spine-tingling pop nous and punchy rifferama – but it’s hard not to hear that one line and not think of the tantalising promise of her recently-departed supergroup Wild Flag. If only they’d stuck around, they might have come up with something nearly as sublime as Rips.
OK, it’s dumb, but knowingly, self-embracingly so. You could call it powerpop if you wanted, with the spectre of Cheap Trick haunting the bouncy likes of How You Got That Girl, though the bubblegum rock of Radio On and War Paint call The Runaways to mind just as easily, with Timony’s luminescent guitar-playing as much a hypnotic treat as ever. “There was nothing left to find,” goes the album’s final line, “and nothing left to know.” Sounds like she’s got it all figured out. [Will Fitzpatrick]