Exlovers - Moth
Exlovers have an infectious immediacy. The first time I listened to their début effort Moth I was immediately drawn in. I envisaged writing an overwhelming positive review, slavering them with praise and slapping on an unreasonably high score. Their music sounds so bright, so cheerful that it's impossible to dislike when you first listen to it. It emits such a bright sheen that it blinds the listener, immediately making them forget about their pretensions of depth and musical complexity. Opener, 'Starlight, Starlight' is a perfect advert for what's about to follow. It's fast, loud and uncomplicated. It sounds gorgeous and is performed with a pleasing enthusiasm.
Of course this initial sheen always fades, and while there is depth to be found within Moth there is little that will keep a listener coming back again and again. Firstly Exlovers sound just too reminiscent of everything that has come before them. Groups like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and the vast number of bands that TPOBPAH were criticised for sounding too much like are obvious influences here. Obviously there is nothing wrong with taking heavy influence from a particular source but this is a particularly crowded genre now. Do Exlovers really do anything that Simean Ghost haven't already done this year? Of course, Moth should be judged in isolation, and there is more to the band, but this goes some way to explaining why an initial enthusiasm may fade.
Secondly the band begin to slow down towards the end of Moth. Both 'Unlovable' and 'I Wish I Never Met You' are nice songs but don't play to the strengths of the band. They lack the enthusiasm and energy which made the group so likeable. It's easy, at this point, for the listener to simply doze off. The lyrics aren't strong enough to fully hold the attention and the backing music is unremarkable.
Exlovers are an good example of a group who are able to carry their music with sheer attitude. While they may rarely play anything more than simple chords, and the noise elements of Moth may be very simple, the album has a strength brought by it's bright sound and chirpy vocals. I feel bad saying anything negative about it because the group have managed to make themselves so endearing through their music. This is a rare quality and one that should be prized. However, the lack of real depth, originality and unique quality means that this an album that will struggle to make itself know above the crowd.
Purchase and listen
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