Ex-Vöid: Bigger Than Before (2022)
An online friend turned me on to the recent full-length debut from London's Ex-Vöid. And I gotta say, I was dubious, based on appearances. You've got the metal-friendly band name, umlauts and all. And a cover photo that makes 'em look somewhere between metal and hardcore. But inside the chewy center? Pure, joyous pop songs! Fizzy & fast, fun little hooks backed by buzzing and jangling guitars, the songs elevated by the paired male & female vox. It sounds like a great lost early 90s indie album, most notably invoking the Lemonheads and Blake Babies, with shades of the first couple Teenage Fanclub records. The guitars, the vocals, even the angsty slacker lyrics--definitely brings me back to a very specific moment in time.
And, c'mon, tell me "No Other Way" wouldn't be a #1 radio hit in any sane universe.
The band's appearance is not completely deceptive; you can sense their punk/hardcore influences in the energy they bring to the songs, and a few of the numbers ("Chemical Reaction," "(Lyin' To You) Baby")) kick of with 30 seconds of hardcore (and a taste of Riot Grrl) frenzy before easing back into friendly bubblegum pop territory (so don't be scared off).
The whole thing checks in at under 30 minutes, so you can perk up your day in pithy, efficient fashion.
Buy it on Bandcamp.
Here's "No Other Way":...and "(Angry At You) Baby" live:...and "Boyfriend" live: