PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Even before the release of their debut full-length album Rips this past October, local DC rock trio Ex Hex had been labeled as “fun.” The reputation formed during interviews and at their first shows, and came out in their early music. They play with this lighter side on Rips while still showing off the immense rock and roll experience of each band member. Dance glam and catchy pop tunes meld seamlessly with harder punk-inspired riffs and no holds barred guitar solos.
So it was no surprise that the band’s hometown crowd at the Black Cat last Friday night was waiting impatiently for the dance party to start. And when guitarist and lead singer Mary Timony (Autoclave, Helium, Wild Flag) and bassist Betsy Wright (Childballads, the Fire Tapes) came out in matching black sequins, with drummer Laura Harris (The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree) following close behind, it certainly looked like they were ready to have some fun.
But the party didn’t quite start right away. Timony launched right into “Don’t Wanna Lose,” the opening track off Rips. The sound was off with the vocals too quiet and the reverb too heavy. The noteworthy energy that makes the album so addicting was missing.
But a few songs in, something changed. The sound had been fixed, and the band members seemed to loosen up and started filling the space.