Pushin’ It 2 The Limit, “self-titled” cassette

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When I reviewed Ex Friends’ Rules For Making Up Words last year, I mentioned that I really liked Audrey Crash‘s vocals, but was “kind of turned off by Joel Tannenbaum‘s delivery>’ Well, here’s the perfect solution: Crash is fronting a band called Pushin’ It 2 The Limit. Their new, self-titled cassette is pretty boss.

Short, punchy tunes that rush along, kind of like a punker Lemuria. The songs have pop hooks and catchy lyrics — “Breaking through Everything with Your Facehammer” is an excellent example of how PI2TL works: lyrics about pushing through, being creatively fulfilled, sang with wobbly harmonies by Crash and guitarist Leta Gray.
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Ex Friends, “Rules For Making Up Words” LP

cover - ex friends rulesWe’ve talked about asthetics I’m not down with before — the whole Hot Water Music thing being beyond my comprehension, for example — and I’m trying to figure out what it is about Ex Friends‘ full-length, Rules For Making Up Words, that turns me off.

Just a few months back, I was excited beyond all belief regarding their Twisted Around 7-inch. Now, listening to this record that they’ve released on Paper + Plastick, I’m just kind of watching it tick by in iTunes, waiting for the damned thing to be over.

For lack of a better thing, I think it’s kind of like my Dillinger Four preferences. I love D4 songs with Paddy on vocals, and get kind of ambivalent toward Erik songs, but I’m pretty all right with songs where they both sing. Same thing goes for Ex Friends — I love Audrey Crash‘s vocals, but am kind of turned off by Joel Tannenbaum‘s delivery.
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Ex Friends, “Twisted Around” 7-inch

cover - ex friends twisted aroundThe latest EP from Philadelphia’s Ex Friends, Twisted Around, is an enthusiastic bit of punk rock which hearkens back to the ’90s era of Gilman Street. It’s street-punky and anthemic, with a rock ‘n’ roll — not hardcore — influence. Ex Friends have a hint of that Philly punk style one hears in the likes of Kid Dynamite or Paint It Black, but more along the lines of the Loved Ones.

Ex Friends are lyrically simplistic, but the enthusiasm behind them make the entirety of this 7-inch an absolute joy to hear. Additionally, lyrically simplistic just means that after one listen to both sides, you’re good to sing along, at least to the choruses. Although, in the case of “Vexed Question,” you’re good for the entire song.

It’s out now via Germany’s Yo Yo Records, and is limited a pressing of 300 on black vinyl and features handprinted jackets designed by drummer JP Flexner. The lithograph cover is vibrant and striking, much like the music itself.