With an album such as Bird, you'd think that Ex People have been around for years. However, the record Bird marks Ex People's debut via label New Heavy Sounds (Black Moth, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Limb).
Released on May 19, it is astounding that the ten songs that make up the soundscape of Bird is a debut from a band. The ten compositions of Bird have a distinct flavour that usually takes at least a couple of records to attain.
Not here though. Bird plays like nothing else on the radio or in the charts, combining the genres of stoner rock, sludge metal, grunge and psychedelic rock together to produce a sound that only Ex Person can play with.
The opening track 'Not a Drill' grasps you by the neck and pulls you into a gritty, distorted realm that the rest of Bird inhibits. Whilst it may be heavy as hell, it also plays with the notion that sludge metal can be melodic through the celestial vocals of Laura Kirsop and complementing tones of the heavy bass (Ed White) and rhythm guitar.
The same can be said for the second track 'Without', whilst it also amps the distortion a few notches making the track feel as though it has been recorded through a filter.
In comparison, songs such as 'Over', 'Complainer' and 'Surekill' play with a faster tempo than the rest of the seven tracks on Bird. The fast tempo and pounding drums (courtesy of Vicki Dawson) of 'Over' makes the listener feel as though they're running away from something whilst also running towards the mosh pit.
'Surekill' is the fastest of the three, but still encompasses that distinct, guttural heaviness that Ex People possess; along with a killer guitar solo. 'Complainer', personally my favourite track on the record, relishes in a simple power chord progression that can do so much and takes the song into the stratosphere. The psychedelic chill break in the middle of the heaviness before it explodes back into the chorus makes for a track — and record — that needs to be heard with headphones.
The longer tracks on the album, 'The Host' and 'Crested' stand as being the more innovative compositions compared to the songs surrounding them. Kirsop, Dawson, White and Gunn take the persona of the ever-experimental Pink Floyd in these two tracks.
Both tracks seem to envelop themselves within a certain fusion genre of heavy/doom metal, psychedelic and acid rock that allows the quartet to mess with the tempo and play around with fragmented percussion that appears throughout both tracks. 'Crested' is the more experimental of the two, allowing itself to relish in a strange, sludge metal interlude of sorts at the beginning until it fully evolves into a recognizable track two minutes in.
From this debut alone, one can expect Ex People to go far in the sphere of heavy rock. Bird has allowed the band to mark their territory, it's what they do with it next that will cement them as a worthy band within the rock community.
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