The Exies: The Exies

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By David Fufkin

I have to use this quote to open up this review. The band’s label uses it in its promo material. It comes from some publication called “Virtually Alternative” that describes the band as follows: “...one and one half cups of sonic wallop of The Kinks, Badfinger and The Who baked to pop perfection with a golden brown crust of Cheap Trick and Stone Temple Pilots” That’s some pretty heady stuff. Geez…I can’t wait to hear this.

Well, lets see. The Kinks. Does this stuff resemble anything Ray Davies ever wrote? No. Absolutely not.

How about Badfinger? Are there any Pete Ham heartfelt flourishes of brilliance here? Again…no. Definitely not. No way.

How about The Who? What about this recording reminds me of Pete Townshend at his best? Let me say this, there are no songs like “Bargain” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again” here.

Cheap Trick? Maybe, but not the first three or four records. No “Surrender” anywhere on here.

Stone Temple Pilots? That works. OK…if you like STP, this is for you.

I hate to be harsh, because there is an artist here who really worked hard writing and recording this stuff. I respect hard work, and certainly this is stuff that many might find appealing. But for me this is corporate rock with huge production at its close to worst. Some of the stuff has melody, but are those Charvel guitars on there?

Artists and record companies take big chances when they throw around cliches and references that have no relationship with what they are trying to sell. And that is what this is about. A big sales job by a major independent label co-founded by The William Morris Agency (the most powerful booking agent in the world) who may have a huge success with this. It may sell records, and I wish the band success, but for this writer, he ain’t buying.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/exies-st/