Alastair Buckle - treble guitar / voice
Kris Chadwick - drum set
Nollaig Wray - bass guitar
Ex Wives are two divorced women and a drum machine. Despite the obvious heartache and mistrust of men, they have bonded closely to make loud, noisy music; all of which is loosely based on the film Disclosure, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. Fucking Dutch 7" available early spring 2009.
Fucking Dutch 7" Reviews:
Says Palmer Eldritch of Die Shellsuit Die:
I had a sneaking suspicion that this EP was going to be quality, from seeing that its briefest of PR blurbs was typed onto a specimen record card from Glasgow General Hospital. I was not wrong. Snarkers and sneerers will whine ‘Albini’ and ‘Big Black’ but really, fuck them. The resemblance is eerie but so what? Geniuses steal. And this is genius - big riffs to sit side-by-side with Bilge Pump, Part Chimp and Kong, kicking off with power only to be ripped to pieces - as if the band were saying ‘fuck this. . .oh, go on, then. . .’ before tearing it up once more. This is music.
Says Emily Slowlie of Manchester Music:
Allegedly from Glasgow and made up of two young female divorcees, only one of these facts appears to be true. OK, they’re Scottish, but the clattering post rock that’s tinged with mathematical quandary, is a compelling package. In Northern Britain’s post-Shellac, post-everything landscape, people in Leeds, Manchester and it appears Scotland have created a north Atlantic / North Sea triangle of noise. Ex Wives are magnificent not only in name but also in sound, their rumbling bass lines pulling in the loose harmonies of the rattled guitars and sheer, explosive vocals. The important issue here is the use of dynamics, which are capably honed into luminous cascades of revelatory, musical sunshine ; clouded only by rather large rumbles of black thundery crescendos. As you would hope , a track with the word “Fucking” in it, can indeed make your hair fall out and the engaging title of “Every woman Loves A Facist”, supplies the best combination of continental sized, ground shifting chords and tones – superb.
Says The Organ:
More from Glasgow abrasive left-field discordant noise making outfit Ex Wives. And out on a label from Olympia, Washington – they got all the cool credible 90’s angles covered here with their wired Fugazi awkwardness and their slicing at you with their angular post-hardcore guitar grace. Barbed ripping grace but grace all the same, all Headcleaning Homage Freaks and Scissormen lurch and all out on a limited edition off just 300 slices of (white) vinyl. This is good, shouty refinement and hooks in skin and four tracks that sound like the best of back there kicked somewhere near now in an Albiniesque bringing me down in an up kind of way. All deranged vocals and something about the men in uniform and ironing black shirts and you could say he’s weird and wired and fired and we like Ex Wives.
Says Perte Et Fracas (French to English):
The single is in love and hate. Love is the tender and beautiful pink covering the pocket, pretty heads and sparrows while pristine white vinyl. The hatred is for all those who have not kept their commitments. We've been getting off on this shit for a long time Most people (...) Their mouths open and nothing Much Comes Out. My gut tells me that there was in those Dutch people there. To these great feelings, you add a healthy dose of irony. Quoted near their myspace avatar, you can read Unfortunately by, I Do not Know Who Steve Albini is. The Scot has humor. So we immediately get rid of this ball. Yes, Big Black and the following groups of skinny Chicago is a big influence of Ex Wives. They have surely flush the kilt to hear but it is well and personally, it does not bother me at all because Ex Wives kicks ass Albini. As the songs are memorable, influences, this defect fatal, may well go to hell. Fucking Dutch (the song) and Every Woman Loves a Fascist two short missile fuze whose venom gradually rises. Rhythmic arrogant and abrupt with enough harmonies and riffs, jerky and heady to want to hand them immediately. The fighting and the melody, even a story of love and hate. Between these two pieces, two more longer and sinuous Disgrace of the North and Otters. Three Ex Wives away from the lap but remaining in the medium noise-rock of the 90s with the typical way to mix the song mentioned in the flood and singing in turmoil, a spike of rage and blood mixed in surplus. Even in times immemorial, Ex Wives had released a CDr two titles (Stave / Diktat) format 3 inches. Despite a less powerful recording quality, the two compositions are just as juicy. Scottish fucking great.
Says Stephen McLeod of Art Rocker:
When an unsigned band is named by the likes of Michael M of We Are the Physics as one of his top 10 acts of the year, you know they’re worth checking out. Ex Wives have been kicking around Glasgow for quite a while now, and been cranking out dismembered, scuzzy music for as long as I can remember. I wouldn’t want to do them an injustice by purely and lazily comparing them to the likes of McLusky or some other artrocker-beloved noise-mongers. However, it’s difficult not to; ex-McLusky bassist’s after-band - Shooting At Unarmed Men - offer some similarities. The same type of obscure, jagged edges that I’m rather fond of. If you want to throw caution into the wind in that general direction, you won’t be too far off. This is the sort of band that you feel like you’d want to take home to meet your parents at the weekend, but that some sort of guarantee would probably be required first to ensure that there was no sudden outbursts of humping directed at the floral Ikea table-lamp, family dog or nearest man in uniform - risque unpredictability is the name of the game. A singer’s voice quality is usually the element that lets down any promising band. Plenty musical ensembles have been ruined by the introduction of some generic screamster, even in the unlikely scenario of being in possession of lyrical talent. Alastair has no such problems, and spits out the words with such intelligentsia-vitriol that it makes you feel like you’re on the inside of something dangerous. Listening to Ex Wives makes me feel dangerous. The four tracks on this release have been constantly playing through my various sound-emitting devices since I got them sent over. You’ll be able to grab a copy from the band’s Myspace in some form or another as of Monday the 8th of February, and if previous incarnations are an indicator, it will probably be priced way below what it’s worth. Buy this EP.
Says Jonathan Harnish of Built On A Weak Spot:
After reading the bands fake bio, I actually kind of want to hear the band that is portrayed in it. Who wouldn’t want to hear a band of two divorced women and a drum machine making noise loosely based off of the Michael Douglas & Demi Moore flick Disclosure? As interesting as that sounds, it would probably be more humorous than actually listenable on a musical quality. So what we do have in Ex Wives are three guys from Glasgow that seem to get overly enthusiastic about the same sort of indie/noise that makes appearances here on the blog on a continual basis. So naturally the four songs on Fucking Dutch, their second release and first for Radio is Down, are heavily inspired by the familiar sounds of 90’s indie. It’s pretty easy to tag these guys as similar to Shellac, but really I think if it wasn’t for the singer’s voice that wouldn’t be so much the case. Yeah, Ex Wives also employ a liberal amount of the same razor sharp guitar sound that also makes it way back to Albini. This kind of remains hidden though as the band veers off into a heftier and chunkier melodic style than rather the oppressive monotonous nature of say Shellac. But really though, aside from these four songs on Fucking Dutch (which are all pretty solid by the way) and the two from their CD-R release, that’s all there is to go on for now and they are plenty good enough to get me interested in what these guys have lined up for the future.
Says Matt H of Sounds XP:
Did straight-edge, hardcore, math-rock, whatever you want to call it ever go away? If it did, muscular rhythmic bass and drums, clanging guitars and angrily hollered vocals are all back, back, back (and not all of them are produced by Steve Albini). Kong and That Fucking Tank but might be amongst the more celebrated (hey, everything’s relative) but they’re not alone in echoing the more harshly independent sounds of the 80s. The bird-masked Ex-Wives’ offering Fucking Dutch is four tracks of typically accomplished stuff, the bass with the right doom-laden tones, the vocals confrontationally offering short sharp soundbites of well, something a bit cross by the sound of it.
Interview with Stephen McLeod of Art Rocker:
We reviewed their newest EP just a few days ago, and now Alastair of the Ex Wives has given us some answers to spurious questions.
Hello there. You’ve been kicking about for a fair while now - when and how did Ex Wives actually start? Give us a bit of your story.
It all started three years ago and is a story of lust and wanton sexual desire. Anyway, Chris and I were in a band a few years ago with a girl. Cutting a long story short, she got pregnant so we kicked her out and then eventually found Colin working the streets. His cockney charm won us both over and, barring Christmas day ’08, we’ve never spent a night apart since.
What sort of things inspire/get you going - in the musical sense that is - no dwarf fetishes here.
Usually if it’s loud, noisy and clever then we’ll get wet for it. My Disco’s Paradise album has been played a lot recently. It’s repetitive, harsh and minimal to the point of famine, but all in way’s I’d never have thought of. Cunts. Bellini’s latest release and all those new Jesus Lizard reissues have been touched up more than I care to admit as well.
Where do you see the band ending up, what sort of things do you envisage yourself doing? From experience - it’s fairly frustrating being in a place where you’re an unsigned band - getting the balance between the right number of gigs and releases to avoid disappearing, but also to avoid over-saturation. What’s your take on all of that?
I’d really like us to do a Christmas song this year. I mean, if we started working on it now I’m sure we’d come up with something half decent by then. We could be part of another ironic Facebook campaign to usurp X Factor and Charlie Brooker and Stephen Fry would write on Twitter about the length of my cock or whether I buy organic. Know that Ex Models song “That’s Ok I Don’t Feel Like A Shithead”? It would be like that, but Christmassier. All Shane McGowan and shit. Outside of that we’re looking forward to sorting a small European tour. We get offered a fair few gigs in France and Germany so it seems rude not to, if only to feel vindicated in my choice of racial stereotypes. It can be hard keeping a balance between playing enough etc and oversaturation. We tend to play less rather than more, simply because I’d be more likely to go see a band I liked once every two months or so than every bastard week. I’d rather it was more “who’s that?” than “fuck, them again”. Plus, we’re exceptionally lazy.
Glasgow’s a bit of a musical mecca, and underground wise there is often some really quality bands that come out of it all. With the exception of We Are the Physics, who else is worth checking out? (and don’t say the likes of Frightened Rabbit kthx.)
PVH. Technically not a Glasgow band but they all live here now and have just started gigging again. They’re a careful blend of Lightning Bolt and those preset demo’s you got on the keyboards in school - bossanova five or whatever. I like them anyway.
Do you find yourselves keeping abreast of happenings in the musical world, or does it just wash over you? Both locally and in the wider spectrum.
Locally, I tend to avoid it all. The “credible” music scene seems to be compromised of the same few groups of people who’d fuck a fisherman’s dog to get in the NME. Unfortunately they don’t have to. They just all shoot their load on the floor for each other, regardless of what style of music it is or if it’s any good, until someone slips and gets a mouthful. Bands playing their first gig at Optimo or being the next big thing before having even played a gig happens more often than feels comfortable.
I have a vague recollection of seeing you at the Barfly where you sang about a horse, and how he was ‘massive’ - I could be totally way-off, and it end up being Titus Gein or something - am I?
No, that was us. It was about losing your privately educated lover to her show horse and the subsequent realisation that you should have known all along this was how it would end. It was rather imaginatively titled ‘Horses’ and received an Ivor Novello in 2007.
Your newest release is entitled ‘Fucking Dutch’ - what have you got against the Dutch in particular? It seems a bizarre focus of vitriol when there’s surely so many other targets more deserving.
It’s called Fucking Dutch but alas it’s not about the country of Anne Frank’s capture. It’s more about cockfighting and the lengths some of us go to get off. Actually, scrap that. It’s about Holland and how the age of consent there is nine or whatever and you can buy smack at school off of your bicycle riding, prostitute teacher who lives in a windmill and pleasures herself with tulips. Sort of.
Any plans to release any full-lengths at any point?
Yes, in between the constant sackings and personal tragedies that seem to follow us everywhere, we’ve started writing an album. Hopefully, it’ll be between eight and ten songs - all of which will be wonderful - and should recorded by the summer. Radio Is Down want to put it out for us so we really need to do that before they change their mind. Colin wants to call it Amistad.
I want to start a band. Will you start one with me?
Only if we call it The Rodney Trotter Handjob.