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Ex Everything's Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart is a bold declaration of things to come

"Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart"

Release date: 10 November 2023
Ex Everything Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart cover
07 November 2023, 09:00 Written by Sam Eeckhout

Take a deep breath, the debut LP from hardcore group Ex Everything is a rollercoaster that only gets faster and faster.

The visceral and aptly named Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart from the Oakland quintet highlights a promising future for the group and a not-so-promising future for our planet.

It's a dense eight-track, tightly packed, frenetic, precise, tactical, and intense experience from note one to note 10,000 – the sound of a frustrated restlessness, a swirling steel tornado heading towards town. Starting with the opener, "The Reduction of Human Life to an Economic Unit," Ex Everything are focused on pushing forward and creating urgency.

And you'd be right by saying to yourself, "Sheesh, that song title seems highly specific." It is – as is the overall messaging from vocalist Andre Sanabria and the group, focused on calling out the painful disparities between humans on this planet. Coming together as a band and working towards this album pre-COVID, the group has seen their fair share of recurring problems on Earth and are tired of it.

The overall thematic pressingness of the album seeps into the instrumentation. There are few, if any, traditional breakdowns, no blast beats, and no guitar solos, instead shifting from frantic chords into marching drum patterns and 'Neurosis-ian' snarls. There's a clear intention behind the notes and where each song goes, rarely drifting, always with the end in mind.

Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart is a cold slap across our collective faces, a wake-up call, an antidote to hopelessness (if we're willing to take action), and the often best way of getting out of hopelessness - expressing yourself through creative artistry.

That said, the relentlessness can become fatiguing without significant variations in dynamics. Bass and guitar are aggressively dancing; there's no time for whole notes, there's no time for the drums to pause for a few bars, and there's certainly no time for creative exploration of instruments dropping out altogether. The shifts in tempo on the album jump drastically instead of intermittently or fluidly. In "The Reduction of Human Life to an Economic Life," the second half of the song slows to a halt, striking a harsh line splitting right down the middle of the track.

Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart sounds like Ex Everything took one gigantic inhale, played the album in its entirety, and then let out one quick cathartic exhale. It's one cohesive feeling that they couldn't wait to let out. The album ends with "Plunder, Cultivate, Fabricate", rightly ending with the most climactic of the eight tracks, a song that sounds like it's trying to rip itself apart and ends with the heaviest moment across the record.

Ex Everything's debut LP is like a painter's first bold brush stroke on a blank canvas, not a masterpiece yet, but a bold declaration of the vivid artwork of things to come. If they have their way, Earth will be in a much better place by then.

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