The Vexers

The Vexers

Gangland Ballads & The Death Sex Set

Ace Fu

With a bevy of art-punk bands lined up buffet-style at the record shops these days, The Vexers have managed to tweak the formula just enough to get me to throw another hyphenated addendum on the genre: surf. Ignoring three decades worth of indication that keyboards equal groove-getting, The Vexers ditch them and the power chords. Instead, the band relies on Tres Warren’s single string guitar theory, a capable rhythm section and Jennifer Taylor’s impassioned howl to fill up the dance floor. On the anthemic DJ indictment, “Vexers Radio”, and the retro new wave “Love in the 22nd Century”, the space between the lead and backing instruments is just good ol’ use of minimalism. However, on the two part closer, “T.K.O.”, there’s no build up and no release, just some self conscious noodling and begging for a second guitar to fill out the flattened sound. The Vexers might not have it completely right, but in a genre that strives to be artfully flawed it might not be that bad of a thing.

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