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Eksi Ekso

posted Nov 19, 2008, 1:58 PM by Vu Nguyen
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Eksi Ekso Group Shot
Eksi Ekso
I Am Your Bastard Wings
Mylene Sheath Records

At the edge of an impossibly calm reservoir, face down among broken glass and apocalyptic debris, you have no identification... no recollection of how you ended up here. Barely mobile and completely taxed, you rise, fearing what is to be found and not found. Did you initiate this catastrophe or are you a reluctant survivor left in place to rebuild what's left? This duality is the thematic arc of I Am Your Bastard Wings, the dramatic full length debut from Boston-based sextet EKSI EKSO (pronounced 'ex-ee ex-o'). Forged with a sense of triumph and hope when everything else has been eradicated, the album pendulates over the fine balance between creation and annihilation: at one second breathy, calm, and sparse; followed immediately by snaking melodies, unrelenting density and climactic cacophony.

The latest brainchild from the creative forces behind THE BURNING PARIS and ON FIRE, EKSI EKSO is poised for meteoric propulsion via their convergence of atypical rock instrumentation, experimentation with form, and the breath of collaborative writing via six musicians coming from very different schools. Nate Shumaker (vocals/guitar), Tom Korkidis (vocals/bass/keys/samples), Sean Will (flugelhorn/trumpet/keys/samples), Clara Kebabian(violin/oboe/vocals), Beth Holub (viola), and Alex Mihm (drums/percussion) compose songs that play out like soundtracks to found footage reels. I Am Your Bastard Wings utilizes three different vocalists who sometimes sing together, sometimes separately, sometimes not at all; a chamber section (violin, viola, and flugelhorn/trumpet) which also separates into lead instruments that soar as much as any lead guitar; an underbelly of live loops and prerecorded samples; blocks of grand piano and dual analog keys/synths; arpeggiated guitars soaked in reverb; and a rock rhythm section that teeters between a back-beat pocket and an unshakeable teenage urge to visit the extremes of tolerable dynamics.

It's far too easy to categorize EKSI EKSO with sub-genre titles that have now been flogged to death: post-rock, chamber rock, art rock, shoegazer... essentially EKSI EKSO is still a rock band that owes just as much to Black Sabbath than it does to Ravel, just as much to Charles Mingus than it does to the Cure, and just as much to CAN as it does to Talk Talk. I AM YOUR BASTARD WINGS was produced by EKSI EKSO and mixed/co-produced by Grammy Award Winning producer/engineer Malcolm Burn (Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel).


"this sextet loves the emotional epic and favors a moody, engulfing sound... these sophisticated arrangements also include violin, viola, piano, synthesizer, oboe, trumpet, and flugelhorn."

"Seamless. Subtle. Soaring. Atmospheric. Sophisticated... a major statement, filled with endless promise and musical grace."

"the sublime duo of "Killing Texas" and "The Choir Will Always Sing" both sport a well-developed sense of orchestration and release... they've hit upon a personality of their own and matched it with an ambitious and admirably bullshit-free sense of instrumentation... imagine if Explosions in the Sky had actually been Bark Psychosis"

"Eksi Ekso has caught my eye in delivering one of the most striking albums of the year... the sheer rush of clashing emotions conveyed is one of remarkable awe...I Am Your Bastard Wings serves as an extremely impressive post-rock release."

"Melancholic yet warm and sunny song-oriented Post-Rock, devoid of most cliches you heard from other numerous bands of the genre. Dynamic and melodic, with magnificent violin solos, masterful vocals and dreamy atmosphere, 'I Am Your Bastard Wings' is a welcome gift."

Eksi Ekso Cover
I Am Your Bastard Wings

Track Listing

01. The Wintering (0:24)
02. O' God, They've Frozen (6:05)
03. Killing Texas (4:23)
04. The Choir Will Always Sing (4:41)
05. Albatross (8:01)
06. I Though You Died Last Time (4:18)
07. Nitnb (1:37)
08. Mavri (5:31)
09. The Gallows (5:34)
10. Just Leave (5:05)
11. (Spouse Of) The Blind Hunter (1:53)
12. Russian Excuse (5:12)