Looks can be deceiving. At first glance Portland's Kill Your Ex come across as just another Emo Alt Band with a bad name, but once given a chance to prove their worth they show some substance. Their latest CD, From Words To Motion (Mediaskare Records), is a solid mixture of Power Pop, Alternative angst, and all delivered with Emo themed vocals.
The quartet comprised of singer/guitarist Joey Rubenstein, guitarist Dan Schafman, bass player Joe Colett and drummer Chris Neff have a unique singular voice. Kill Your Ex are an upbeat band with real Alternative sensibilities. The unique songwriting voice that these guys use is in their use of guitar riffs as a constant vehicle of each song's melodic make up. The rhythm of each song is made up of the uniquely quirky harmonized riffs between Rubenstein & Schafman. Their riffing is always upbeat and fun and they deliver them in such a way that they MAKE the song. I can't remember ever hearing songwriting where constant harmonized riffing during the verses actually made up the song. I found this to be really, really interesting and it made these songs take on another personality.
The downside of Kill Your Ex to me are the vocals. Don't get me wrong, Rubenstein actually has a good voice for this type of genre, but I still found it to be a bit whiny and overbearing, but their musicianship more than makes up for the vocal letdown. Melodic and full of Alt Rock, Kill Your Ex makes things interesting with CD opener "Hades and Demeter" with the afore mentioned harmonized guitar bleeps and jangled riffs making melodic bliss while taking front stage. Melody is a true strength of these guys and blend that with a strong songwriting ability and that makes for a pretty good listen.
Kill Your Ex are a very interesting band and From Words To Motion is a solid Modern Rock sounding record. Mostly made up of upbeat to mid paced rockers with no sappy filler with standout guitar based writing, Kill Your Ex are a pleasant addition to the Alt-Rock world. Check these guys out.
- Hades and Demeter
- Fetch Todo Fetch
- The Divide
- Nine Point Eight
- La Flora Demise
- Drift Asea
- For Each A Grail