Thursday, October 09, 2014

Zex-Fight for Yourself

Capitalicide/Uncle D Records

Just released last week, "Fight for Yourself" is the 10-track debut album from Ottawa, Ontario's own Zex. Preceded by a pair of well-received/highly-recommend 7"s, with two of the previously-released singles, "Savage City" and "Wanderlust", appearing here on Zex's first LP*, "Fight for Yourself"  combines old-school punk (specifically the British and New York scene), 70's rock/hard rock, glam and N.W.O.B.H.M. into one f**king fantastic collection! In Zex there's two girls and two guys (one of which is guitarist Jo Capitalicide of Germ Attak, Trioxin 245 and Iron Dogs** fame) and you haven't lived until you've had a chance to see these Ottawa punk rockers in action! And you can do exactly that thanks to the official video for title track/album opener, "Fight for Yourself"! Go ahead and check it out. I'll wait....

OK good, you're back. See what I mean about Zex? Pretty cool right? That's merely the first cut though.  Next you've got "Wild Blood" where we find Zex drawing a clear line between The Runaways and Girlschool and then "We're Rebels" takes you on a wild ride where punk and Oi! And no matter whether we are talking about any of these early (instant!) classics or even "Screaming at the Wall", "XXX", "Wanderlust", "World of Trash" and "Savage City" guitarist Jo Capitalicide is always spot f**king on! Jo's particular style of playing allows Zex the opportunity to perfectly switch between a number that might recall the Avengers and one which hints at a love of punk-infused N.W.O.B.H.M. such as (early) Iron Maiden (or specifically Paul Di'Anno's work on Iron Maiden's self-titled debut and "Killers"). He's not the only highlight though when it comes to this Canadian four-piece. Throughout "Fight for Yourself" lead vocalist Gretchen Steel commands attention and her voice gives numbers like "Fight for Yourself", "We're Rebels" and "Break Out" a serious sense of urgency! Meanwhile "On Our Own" is an impassioned call out and "Savage City" finds Zex's fiery front-woman raising the alarm while Jo Capitalicide and the rhythm section of Gab Sex and Tasha (bass and drums respectively) rally around Steel in a defiant show of support! As charming as they are corrosive, Ottawa's Zex are all at once the best of both worlds (old-fashioned punk and late seventies/early eighties N.W.O.B.H. M.) while simply a fun and refreshingly original rock collective with a knack for writing memorable material. For now "Fight for Yourself" is a vinyl, tape and digital only release. It will be split release between Uncle D Records and Capitalicide, but for those of you who might just be looking for easiest and quickest thrill ride possible then you can download "Fight For Yourself" off of iTunes or directly from the band here:

*These are different versions of the singles. Both "Savage City" and "Wanderlust" have reportedly been re-recorded. Here "Savage City" (a 70/80s-inspired number that simultaneously recalls Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and The Runaways) sounds a tad bit cleaner while English punk rocker "Wanderlust" maintains the same blistering outlook and contentious attitude. It should go without saying, but in case there is any doubt at all I thoroughly enjoyed both numbers! 

**I previously covered Iron Dogs "Free and Wild". You can read it here:

 Zex's Facebook page:

PS: As a side-note I simply cannot recommend this band enough! Zex's sound was forged from a shared love punk, garage rock and roll, Oi!, seventies/early eighties hard rock, seventies glam rock and N.W.O.B.H.M. It's contagious as all get out and recalls a simpler time when punks and bangers gathered together by way of a mutual admiration of bands like the Ramones and Motörhead!

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