Existing in a world enslaved by the tethered-to-technology tendencies it feels more and more like the moments of reprieve from the instant-satisfaction of the button and swipe are becoming less and less. More importantly those who swim against the current are even more rare.
Sitting here at my desk in the Nanobot HQ, with The Ex-Bomber’s 2012 debut release The Tightwire framed on the wall next to me, I drop the needle on their latest release New Love is Easy.
Nearly ten years since the first spin on the “sinister psychedelic blues duo from Illinois” I began to wonder many a thing about The Ex-Bombers, but most prominently, how could a band who only releases their music on vinyl record still be so motivated to blaze their own trail and not succumb to the digitized age. Then, like a smokey curtain pulled from the ether, “If you’re lost you should listen/ and I can make all this noise/just stop” comes through the speakers followed by a thumping drive and faded cymbal before the distinctively captivating styling of the Ex-Bombers settles in. All questions quickly fade and I’m back in the world I’d come to appreciate so greatly.
The minimalistic psychedelic jazz, filtered through the fallout of post-punk, spun through a 60mm noir film with audio tracked on reel-to-reel in a venue that holds more secrets than it does occupancy on a dark Saturday night, of The Ex-Bombers immediately come forward with New Love is Easy. Keri Cousins (rhythm and vocals) and Scott Walus (bass and vocals) have once again nailed it with their latest. Including track titles such as “I Keep Trying to Fix Bad With Worse” immediately followed by “Everything is Fine” and “Lose Control I Take Control” New Love is Easy quite apparently clings to the poetry/jazz-driven beats of The Ex-Bombers. Vocally confident, perhaps more not caring to impress anyone, without unnecessary shots at unachievable ranges, or God-forbid autotune, the rawness of the recording is only amplified in analog format, adding to the sense of the world created by the duo; a world that is absolutely splendid. It is a presence that plays to the dark while delivering the highs in vivid audible stimulation instead of peaks and pops of color.
There is an unshakeable sense we should need to know a secret handshake or knock on some back alley door to access The Ex-Bombers, but that’s just not the case. In a pressed record we find a sense of belonging to an elite club, but one anyone with a turntable can participate in. Their sense of psych-blues embodies what makes blues and jazz so great, it is in the hands of the musician to say. New Love is Easy refuses to deviate from what makes The Ex-Bombers. If you’re unsure exactly what that is, get your hands on New Love is Easy on Cavetone Records.