Photo by Jonah Takagi
It’s rare for an artist to have a fourth wind; it’s hard enough getting noticed the first time around. But Mary Timony has left a constant buzz wherever she’s gone musically. The D.C. native survived the ’90s alt-rock boom with her integrity intact, thanks to her forward-thinking songwriting and guitar-playing in Autoclave and Helium. A few solo albums followed, but it was Wild Flag–her don’t-call-us-a-supergroup supergroup that featured members of Sleater-Kinney–that earned Timony a more sizable presence.
Wild Flag quietly broke up after one album, but Timony took that simplistic approach to Ex Hex. The band’s 2014 debut, Rips, takes ’70s pop rock and filters it through Timony’s punk and garage roots. The result is a band that sounds out-of-time: the members are all pushing middle-age, but there’s a youthful glee to Ex Hex’s riffing. They’re also more subtle than your average punk band. “Don’t Wanna Lose” is built around a stuttering three-chord vamp that’s as old as rock-and-roll (it echoes the Count Five’s ’60s classic “Psychotic Reaction”). But the psychedelic effects and power-pop chorus keep you coming back again and again. Download the song below, and catch Ex Hex Friday night at Red 7. Doors at 9 p.m.