Ex Hex - 'It's Real'

7/10

Since releasing their breakthrough debut album 'Rips' back in 2014, the anthemic trio known as Ex Hex have been uncharacteristically quiet ever since. Despite their first full-length receiving huge accolades and a prominent place as one of the US's best new bands, the three-piece retreated fairly suddenly once the buzz had died down, returning only now to deliver their highly-anticipated sophomore LP 'It's Real'. A release that sees them return to the glory of their initial years and also add a touch of punch to their usual riff-happy ways.

From the start, 'It's Real' looks to pick up almost exactly as 'Rips' left off. Opening up with the wonderfully traditional rock 'n' roll stomper 'Tough Enough', the single makes an instant impact and gives us a glimpse as to what we can expect from the rest of this new release. From there, the record is filled with a medley of killer riffs and screaming guitars, that all look to play homage to their clear influences such as Foreigner, Black Sabbath and Boston. Although nostalgic in its aesthetic, this new collection still has its aim on the modern times as the band look to bring a contemporary flair to this classic sound, and deliver a pulsing rock return as they go.

It may not have that same shine they produced on their first full-length, but 'It's Real' certainly does an excellent job in reintroducing the band into today's overzealous marketplace, and continue the engaging sound their debut represented. A solid and confident return, Ex Hex are certainly not going anywhere soon.

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