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Ex Hex Close Out the Weekend at Mercury Lounge

November 3rd, 2014

Ex Hex – Mercury Lounge – November 2, 2014

Ex Hex – Mercury Lounge – November 2, 2014
Ex Hex took to the stage at Mercury Lounge on a cold and blustery New York City Marathon Sunday evening, where at least one attendee displayed his race-finishing medal along with a whiskey and Coke. It turns out a marathon wasn’t a bad visual metaphor for independent-rock endurance racer Mary Timony, a purveyor of catchy garage rock since the 1990s, and her latest project, Ex Hex. Timony’s latest band articulated something beyond the well-worn loneliness of a long distance runner.

Playing songs from their appropriately titled debut LP, Rips, Ex Hex showed no signs of wearing out. Instead, the Thin Lizzy drums and guitar riffs settled the three-piece into a place that sounded newly generative and well-worn. The band had finished their sound check to the pounding sound of Kanye West’s “Hold My Liquor,” but “Don’t let me get in my zone/ I’m already in my zone” might have been better entrance music for a trio so steeped in both the present and the past. Dressed in black, Ex Hex opened with “Waterfall” before moving through “Don’t Wanna Lose” and “How You Got That Girl.” The sold-out crowd shuffled and bounced to match the down-stroke guitars coming from the stage.

Ex Hex—also the name of one of Timony’s solo albums in one of those meta moments where the art and the artist grow increasingly more intertwined—sat their best song, “Hot and Cold,” in the middle of the set. Despite the blowing waste outside on Houston St., or the hours-earlier struggles of runners on the Verrazano or Queensboro Bridges, Ex Hex suggested something different about temperature and age. Timony sang, “I cannot see through your disguise,” and then the intentional dissociation: “So young, so old.” The band’s set headed for its conclusion, a mixture of the aged and contemporary, and for the moment, with the chunky guitars and Ex Hex’s big hooks, we were all finishers.
—Geoff Nelson

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com