Albums / Phono Select's pick of the month

Phono Selects Pick of the Month: ZEX-Fight For Yourself

Zex fight for yourself album cover

A lot of bands have claimed to have an old school punk rock sound. Often, this results in a very contrived and bland final product. However, Zex, a new glam punk band from Ottawa, Canada, accomplishes the exact opposite.

The name came about because, “The last truly good band names where all taken up by the mid ’80s.” [1] From the first and title track on their first full-length record, Fight For Yourself, one could assume this was a re-mastered record from the late 70’s, early 80’s but as was not the case. It’s an independent record from 2014 being re-released worldwide this year by U.S. label, Magic Bullet Records.

Vocalist Gretchen Steel, Guitarist Jo Capitalicide, bassist Gab Sex and drummer Tasha have captured time in a bottle, creating genuine music with relevant sound. There is a consistent vibe from start to finish but no way is the record predictable. The clash between classic punk riffs and metal rooted guitar lines and solos, blend with hooks that make you want to restart every song. It is a beautiful unison of straight up female fronted punk and homage to new wave British heavy metal. The drums do exactly what they should and nothing more, knowing when to be busy and when not to be. The commanding yet velvet vocals of Steel are met at random with backing vocals, creating aggressive anthems as well as Doo-wop sing-alongs.

Each song has just the right feel, to elicit head nodding if not toe tapping the entire time. Songs like “Screaming At the Wall” and “Wanderlust” begin dark and aggressive but eventually lead to anthem-like choruses; while songs such as “Break Free” and “XXX” immediately alert the listener, that it is time to have some fun. “On Our Own” especially, should help convince fans of The Avengers, Vice Squad, Generation X, and The Heart Attacks to happily add this to their respective collections.

Fight For Yourself is a record that will no doubt surprise many listeners both curious and skeptical. It is catchy, rockin’, and flat out really good! With tour dates booked for 2015 in the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Zex makes it clear they mean business and don’t plan on waiting for the world to come find them.

Find out more about Zex on their site, Facebook, or Bandcamp.

[1] http://noisey.vice.com/en_ca/blog/watch-zex-savage-city-video

Want to catch Zex live? Check out these tour dates and see where they will be next.

May:

5 Albany, NY
6 New York City, NY
7 Philadelphia, PA
8 Baltimore, MD
9 Richmond, VA
10 Raleigh, NC
12 Orlando, FL
13 Gainesville. FL
14 Atlanta, GA
15 Nashville, TN
16 Birmingham, AL
17 Pensacola, FL
18 New Orleans, LA
19 Houston, TX
20 San Antonio, TX
21 Austin, TX
22 Dallas, TX
23 Tulsa, OK
24 Oklahoma City, OK
26 Tuscon, AZ
27 Phoenix, AZ
28 Tijuana, MX
29 San Diego, CA
30 Orange County, CA
31 Los Angeles, CA

June:

2 Salt Lake City, UT
3 Denver, CO
4 Kansas City, MO
5 Omaha, NB
6 Minneapolis, MN
7 Madison, WI
8 Milwaukee, WI
9 Chicago, IL
10 Cincinnati, OH
11 Pittsburgh, PA
12 Cleveland, OH
13 Buffalo, NY

Words by Jordan Wolfe.

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