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Ex Friends – Animal Needs EP

Becci Stanley


After the success that followed Rules for Making Up Words, the Massachusetts mob return with Animal Needs, a strange concoction of the visceral, the mocking and the melodic in one ragged package unlike anything I’ve sampled before. An interesting exploration into the unknown crevices of music long forgotten, Animal Needs provides a journey through the ages of music that can be hit or miss.

Don’t Do It Like That (Do It Like This) showcases the complete opposite really with a slightly lacklustre and generic introduction that wouldn’t be out of place in a run of the mill pop punk E.P that are ten to the dozen these days, until the punchy and gritty vocals kick in signalling a downward spiral into thrashing punk that turns the track on its head in a memorable fashion.

Real Life kicks it up a notch with the saccharine sweet vocals of Audrey Crash and the gruff grunts of Joel Tennenbaum create a juxtaposition of soaring highs and winding lows on this rock and roll ode with moments of dread in the form of a spooky, rockabilly intro, excitement with the introduction of a violin section and a punk mentality which screams down your ears.

Personal favourite Word Police is a track bands like Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat would kill to have written with attitude bursting from every chugging chords of the guitars, every boom of the bass, every guttural satirical lyrics and every thrash of the drums ending in a nostalgic climax.

Fadeage provides a slightly anti-climactic finish with a slightly run of the mill punk track that doesn’t quite live up to the previous two stand out experimental tracks. It does offer some truly interesting themes which could have been expanded on such as the use of a saxophone, a gritty look at philosophy and history within their lyrics that constantly change the mood of the song and the blend of various genres.

Instead of evolving and changing their sound, Ex Friends have experimented and brushed at the seams of many genres making this E.P seem messy and not-quite-evolved as well as experimental and thoroughly engaging. In parts it is boring and you can’t wait to turn it off, then in the next second it becomes life changing musically and impossible to tear your head away from. This E.P is sure to divide opinion, as well as gain the attention of many.

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