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Moving Units - Hexes For Exes

Moving Units, Hexes For Exes

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

LA critical darlings Moving Units follow up 2004’s acclaimed Dangerous Dreams with the similar sounding Hexes For Exes, a punk-rock inflicted collection of songs that are also influenced by a hefty slice of disco.

Blake Miller and co have spent the past couple of years touring with the likes of Bloc Party, Interpol and even Nine Inch Nails and Blur, but while the euphoria that once greeted many post-punk acts has long since diminished they appear content to continue churning out the same thing.

And where bands like Interpol attempt to put an art-rock stamp on things, and The Killers indulge in epic ’80s wallowing (a la Springsteen), Moving Units have opted to keep their feet firmly on the dancefloor, so as to keep their music at the forefront of the nighttime scene whether you actually go out and buy the album or not.

As a result, Hexes For Exes references a lot of familiar names – from The Pixies to The Strokes via Klaxons and Bloc Party – whilst remaining careful to maintain an identity of its own.

Blake Miller’s vocals are still punky and occasionally haunting, while the guitars mix muscular with cheesy, and the beats remain upbeat and disco-driven.

When they get it right, there’s still a buzz of excitement to be found, as in the rip-roaring former single Wrong Again, which plucks some guitar riffs from The Strokes copybook before dropping an incendiary chorus that’s both deeply melodic and vaguely sing-along. It’s the outstanding track.

But I also liked the subdued beats and strained guitar riffs of the haunting Kings And Queens of Nothing, the cheesy, scuzzy style of The Kids From Orange County that once again succeeds in delighting with a thrilling chorus, and the early vibrancy of album opener Pink Thoughts.

I was, however, less taken with the slightly more formulaic likes of Crash N Burn Victims and Pick Up The Phone or Nail It To The Cross, which hints at a lot more than it ultimately delivers.

The overall impression, however, is that while Moving Units still have the right to call themselves one of LA’s brighter acts, they need to shake the formula up a little in time for their next long-player – and, most importantly, get something out a whole lot quicker!

Download picks: Wrong Again, The Kids From Orange County, Pink Thoughts, Kings And Queens Of Nothing

Track listing:

  1. Pink Thoughts
  2. Crash N Burn Victims
  3. Paper Hearts
  4. The Kids From Orange County
  5. Dark Walls
  6. Pick Up The Phone
  7. Nail It To The Cross
  8. Wrong Again
  9. Kings And Queens of Nothing
  10. Hearts Departed
  11. Blood Beats