Best New Music: VEXX – “VEXX”

(M’Lady Records)


Vexx’s self-titled EP answers the question “Is punk dead?” with a loud and adamant “NO.” Their argument for that assertion sounds pretty convincing, too; the EP is cohesive, powerful, and more calculated than one might expect from a debut. Vexx is well-versed in the language punk—a knowledge conveyed in their shredding guitar and quick-paced drums, which stay tied down by steady bass riffs. Maryjane Dunphe exudes confidence, and her masterful vocals punch through walls with commanding phrasing and volume, which build and fall in conjunction with each other. Her style is reminiscent of Lydia Lunch and other no wave predecessors.

What’s interesting about Vexx is their contrast to Olympia’s other punk bands. While many local groups take on punk’s later West Coast hardcore sounds, Vexx errs toward a style which is slightly more demonstrative of punk’s earlier East Coast incarnates. Though that’s not to say that Vexx doesn’t fit into the Olympia scene—much to the the contrary—Vexx’s unique take on one of Oly’s most popular genres has been met with open arms and a positive following.