Our world has been gradually falling apart. This may seem like a bleak point of view, but the collapse we’re all witnessing inspired post-mathcore outfit Ex Everything as they created their eruptive debut Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart.
“Everything around us–politically, socially, environmentally–seems to be stretching and breaking,” says guitarist Jon Howell. “Our record sits in that terrifying place where you’ve been watching it happen.”
The Bay Area quartet boasts current and former members of Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves, Mercy Ties, Blowupnihilist, Less Art and others, but listeners shouldn’t mistake this for a short-term project or side band. This is a priority, every member focused and committed, and it only takes a few minutes with the album to understand how serious they are.
“This band is completely its own thing,” says Howell. “It addresses the part of us that wants to write fast, chaotic, knotty, messy, pissed off music.”
Started initially in 2018 between Howell and bassist Ben Thorne, drummer Dan Sneddon joined in 2019, solidifying the core of the band. After going through the usual growing pains, spiked with a global pandemic, they recruited vocalist Andre Sanabria who understood what the band needed and delivered it with a fierce dedication. Cut to the band heading into Sharkbite Studios with Scott Evans–whose engineering credits include Yautja, Town Portal and Ghoul–and the band was finally able to hear what they’d accomplished.
Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart is a near-perfect fusion of Dischord-influenced math rock and noisecore, a nuanced rage that refuses to accommodate the passive listener. Howell’s percussive, angular playing is as impressive as it is baffling, with malformed chords and abstract melodies that still burrow effortlessly into your brain.
Sneddon’s drumming is a stampede of frenetic time signatures, deceptively understated patterns and anthemic bashing, while Thorne’s bass roils underneath like a ship’s hull scraping the ocean floor.
The band’s true skill, though, lies in how their instruments interlock, the structuring of movements that grow songs from rotted dirges to triumphant war cries, rhythmic tension building until a riff explodes it into something unexpected and completely satisfying.
Sanabria screams like he’s trying to tear the songs apart, though he manages to find moments of almost zen-like contemplation. It’s a deft and mesmerizing performance, aided by his deeply thoughtful lyrics about, as Howell says, the steady dismembering of the things that bind us.
“I don’t know what we can do, except try and channel this terror into the music; add to the conversation by showing its face and saying how it makes us feel.”
First in the practice space, then at the studio, Ex Everything is now ready for Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart to be showcased at full volume on stage.
“We want these songs to move people the way they move us,” Howell says. “Because this band is nothing without that.”
01. The Reduction of Human Life to an Economic Unit
02. Exiting the Vampire Castle
03. Detonation in the Public Sphere
04. A Sermon in Praise of Corruption
05. Slow Cancellation of the Future
06. Feral City
07. The Last Global Slaughter
08. Plunder, Cultivate, Fabricate