The Ex

Catch My Shoe (Carrot Top)

Phases & Stages

The Ex

Catch My Shoe (Carrot Top)

Across three decades, Dutch punks the Ex have released 25 consistent albums while staying radical, never breaking up, and trotting the globe in search of inspiration. Arnold de Boer replaced agitator G.W. Sok in 2009, and though his delivery never matches the founder's artful rasp, on "Cold Weather Is Back" he rages against technology like it's something new, the blast of brass saving it from caricature. There's still the tightly wound guitar march the Ex does so well, guitarist Andy Moor chattering teeth with staccato riffs on opener "Maybe I Was the Pilot," which finds the band right where it left off on 2004's Turn. The group's radical shifts have always been complementary, whether punk, experimental jazz, or African music, which all collide on "Eoleyo." Catch My Shoe shares some 21st century dissent with new albums from Wire and Gang of Four, but the Ex's continual flow of ideas and collaborations has kept its members in forward motion, where their UK counterparts are coming back to the fire after smelling the smoke. Advantage: the Ex.


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