EX-HYENA – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark With Their New Album ‘MOON REFLECTIONS’

Longplayers that stand out

6 July 2022

Band: EX-HYENA (Boston, MA)
Who: The musical project of Bo Barringer and Reuben Bettsak
crafting the sound of an emerging dystopia, a sort of fantasy
land that existed along the margins of reality and within the
confines of the imagination.

New album: MOON REFLECTIONS – the duo’s 2nd LP

Reuben Bettsak: “Moon Reflections brings forth cinematic landscapes from the Ex-Hyena world,” says Bettsak. “This futuristic world is created to build imagination sparks, to grasp memories, and to delve into understanding our fragile minds. It’s interesting. I think our last album was maybe built a bit more on stories, and characters from a dystopian future world, and of course aspects of that world touched upon the realities of our world. But in building imaginary worlds, one can tap into the subjects of the mind. Moon Reflections dives into the deep, murky waters of memories, it falls down a void of nightmares, it experiences extreme loneliness, and it also highlights a few characters via cinematic scenes from the Ex-Hyena
future world. And it all meshes together because imagination is a great magnifying glass.”

Turn Up The Volume: Ex-Hyena conduct orchestral manoeuvres at the dark side of the moon with a variety of vibrant vibes. A mix of ambient spheres (At The Moondial / Sight Unseen / Dark Passage), idiosyncratic electronics à la Aphex Twin (Tremors / Magnification) and dark-colored-waves (Nightmare Pills / Capture The Stills / While Curtains Burn). Throw in some special Pink Floyd effects in here and there and you know what will be on your headphones when the lights go out at night.

Singles/clips: Capture The Stills / Nightmare Pills

– NIGHTMARE PILLS –

Ladies we’re floating in space.
Buy/stream the album here…


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EX-HYENA: Facebook – Instagram

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 KNOCKOUT TRACKS Of The Month – MARCH 2022

A stream of rattling rippers, jagged jams, and romantic reveries

All 20 together on Spotify

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Knockout by Knockout…

1. ‘Twitchen’ In The Kitchen’ by WARMDUSCHER (UK)

Disco-freak stomper of the month, hands down. This new punky-funky corker follows
the previous 2 shared crackers Wild Flowers and Fatso. They will all be on their upcoming album At the Hot Spot, out tomorrow, 1 April (no joke).

It’s a bangin’ beast with a screamin’ chorus. A perfect pick-me-up tune for all the weirdos
who are always in the kitchen at parties waiting for Warmduscher to kick their lazy asses.

Shake your booty…

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2. ‘I Am Not Maternal’ by OTOBOKE BEAVER (Japan)

Compared to this Japanese red-hot-bloody fury the Ramones sound like choirboys.
Otobeke Beaver‘s race and rush in an overwhelming overdrive. No brakes, no breaks.

Their rabidity rolls like a tsunami through your ears. These perky punkettes produce
moshpit madness on the spot. The average song length is 2 minutes, 120 seconds
of clamorous pandemonium.

New album SUPER CHAMPON out on 6 May 2022

These frenetic champ(i)ons rule…

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3. ‘Territorial Call Of The Female’ by BODEGA (Brooklyn, NY)

The New Yorkers still operate on Parquet Courts’ playground with their new,
2nd full-length Broken Equipment. But they supersized their jangly beats
and they turned up the temperature.

Territorial Call Of The Female is my favorite cut. It activates
every muscle and every nerve in my itching body.

What about you?…


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4. ‘Post Punk’ by THE CRYSTAL METHOD feat. IGGY POP

Scott Kirkland (the remaining member of Las Vegas dance act The Crystal Method)
invited icon Iggy Pop (you can hear him almost any day on a new collaboration, the
past few years) and his British buddy, composer/DJ Hyper in his studio.

The raving result is a techno boom boost, bursting all the way, with Pop‘s voice
strangled by a blender. Sounds spooky, sounds wicked, sounds like lust for life.

Breaking news: Iggy says he’s not a punk anymore!

“I don’t want to be a punk
I don’t want to belong to any of it
I just want to be”

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5. ‘Hi-De-Ho’ by JACK WHITE feat. Q-TIP (UK)

Busy blues-rock bee Jack White canned two new longplayers for this year, titled
Fear Of The Dawn (out 8 April 2022) and Entering Heaven Alive (out 22 July 2022)

The hottest cut I heard so far is Hi-De-Ho (from ‘Fear Of The Dawn’ LP) featuring Q.Tip.

A smoking rock-rap ripper.

Yessssss…

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6. ‘I’ll Make You See God’ by THE AFGHAN WHIGS (USA)

The by now legendary passion rockers from Cincinnati, Ohio with mastermind
Greg Dulli
in control are back from being away for 5 years. Their last album
In Spades came out in 2017.

I’ll Make You See God a striking steamroller, a red-hot-heated stunner, an unstoppable
cannonball going everywhere fast. It will feature in the upcoming PlayStation game
Gran Turismo 7.

See/hear God here…

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7. ‘Nothing Comes Good Easy’ by DEAD LEVEE (Canada)

Wowzer! This sickly uplifting belter (from upcoming EP Rise-Up) elevates your state of mind with fired-up dynamism from the get-go. Rapid-fire rawk and roll riffs switch on a fervent feel of euphoria. It did it in the past, it does it in the present and it will do it in
the future.

Despite all the BS we have to endure (pandemic, Ukraine, natural disasters,
and other threats) it’s never too late to get back on track and why not start
with 4 and a half minutes of heart-warming guitar-fueled boogie-woogie
that breathes hope and assurance.

1-2-3….

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8. ‘Digging’ by NOTHINGHEADS (UK)

Once I learned that this startling uppercut is about the horrible
exploitation of human beings by ferocious money sharks this
jagged jackhammer blew my mind even harder than I heard it
the first time before knowing about the band’s inspiration
for this standout.

Expect rabid guitars, doom and gloom vocals, and frantic twists and turns
until the chaotic finale. Post-punk at its razorblade best. Think fierce Canadian
turbine Metz and London‘s up-and-coming gunslingers Crows.

Dynamite!


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9. ‘Breaking Grounds‘ by SALEM WOLVES (Salem, MA)

This fiery crackerjack goes forth and back with
turbulent velocity. Imagine the full of vim and vigor
intenseness and puissant vocality of The Afghan Whigs.
Anxious, unyielding, and ablaze.

Breaking Grounds races like a rush of blood to the head with
screaming guitars and propelling drum muscularity.

Turn it up, guys…


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10. ‘The Girls Of LA’ by WEIMAR (Manchester, UK)

The first taster from the upcoming debut full-length Dancing On A Volcano.

Imagine the fervid fuzz of punchy guitar pop legends Buzzcocks, with
The Stranglers’ Jean-Jacques Burnel on bass, combined with the cutting
verbality of today’s post-Brexit-punk rebirth and you know a frisky doozy
is coming your way.

Add some American-dream girls of the City of Angles on your imaginary
mind-screen and you’re about to start a champagne party in your head.

Drool here…


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11. ‘The Slump’ by SKINNER (Dublin, Ireland)

The combination of a nasty Gang Of Four bass riff,
frenzied Keith Levene guitars here and there and Skinner
hip-hop-rapping like Beck used to do, works like an ecstatic
upper.

This funk-punk stonker has an immediate intensifying impact on all of your
limbs and your bloodstream’s flow. Add some sexy sax thrills to the mix and
you’ll have all you need to jump out of your slump. Capice?

Make your move here…

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12. ‘Sight Unseen’ by EX-HYENA (Boston, US)

Cut from their sophomore album
‘Moon Reflections’, out on June 24

A rotating synth riff echoes British electro legends New Order and
is the beating heart of this new piece, yet the mood is meditative
and musing, strengthened by the near-whispering and eager vocals.
This darksome and soul-searching reverie gets under your skin after
a couple of spins.


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13. ‘The Hurt Within’ by HOLY COVES (Wales)

This impassioned hard-luck story grows slowly but surely into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a steady drumbeat,
and mixed emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance.

‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’. You can feel it.

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14. ‘White Skin’ by THE BANKROBBER (Italy)

You’ll hear titillating electro-echoes of early Depeche Mode before
they became the darkwave Goth-esque rockers we all know. But
in an eye-blink White Skin becomes an infectious nightclub earworm
with an ecstatic chorus.

In a normal world (does that actually exists?) this adrenaline-infused
and hip-swinging spark should top the dance charts around the globe.

Another solid gold hit for the Italian siblings.

Press play and move your feet…

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15. ‘Nice Guy’ by BURN THE LOUVRE (Canada)

The musical project of singer/songwriter Jordan Speare
assisted by guitarist/bassist and friend Andrew Billone.

After a couple of EPs the pair’s canned their first longplayer
called Silhouettes. Release at the end of the year.

I don’t know if it’s the world-famous and historic museum in Paris
they want to burn, that wouldn’t be so nice. What I do know is that their
brisk and spirited sound is infectious and captivating with an immediate
impact on your body’s movements. Expect guitar pop electricity, extra
pushed by lively vocals.

Now that’s nice…


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16. ‘Life And Lies’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

The Americana voice of Northern Ireland releases
his new album Gameblood on 13 May.

Ahead of it came this mixed emotions single with
Rogers‘ sky-reaching voice as the star, once again.

It’s a bluesy goosebumps reflection. Wurlitzer jukeboxes should be reinvented
for these heartbreakers so moody minds can cry their eyes out (or cry in their beer)
at night in a downtown bar where lonely ones gather and chat about life and lies.

This one is for all barflies out there…

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17. ‘Set It Aside’ by SUPERCHUNK (US)

The veteran rockers from North Carolina released
their 11th LP Wild Loneliness
a couple of weeks ago.

One of the highlights is this sweet little ditty.

Start dreaming here…


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18. ‘Blood’ by AGATH CRIST (Canada)

A poppy synth trip with a floating flow and near-whispering vocals. Both eerie and affecting, both dizzy and hypnotic with a frenetic guitar attack coming out of nowhere around the 3-minute mark.

Top stroke…

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19. ‘Do It Over’ by THE DISTRICTS (Philly, US)

The Philly rockers are favorites of mine. Early this month they launched
their 5th LP Great American Painting with this little touching jewel on…


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20. ‘All The Good Times’ by ANGEL OLSEN (USA)

It’s an epic ballad with a country feel. If this melancholic gem was written
in the 60s it would have been sung by Linda Rondstadt, Tammy Waynette
or Dolly Parton, anyway, by an angelic voice like Olsen‘s magnific one.

Classic tearjerker…

See/hear you next month, music junkies

Boston Duo EX-HYENA Muse On Their New Electro Trip ‘SIGHT UNSEEN’

New striking strokes

12 March 2022

Band: EX-HYENA (Boston, MA)

Who: The musical project of Bo Barringer and Reuben Bettsak
crafting the sound of an emerging dystopia, a sort of fantasy
land that existed along the margins of reality and within the
confines of the imagination. A very short time later, their music
is simply the sound of our enclosed reality.

New single: SIGHT UNSEEN
Cut from their sophomore album
Moon Reflections’ out June 24

Betts: “‘Sight Unseen’ is about how we fill our headspace with beautiful noise
and music to combat thoughts of loneliness. The line ‘From our beds into the
waves’ conjures up stormy dreams and memories. An ocean can be dangerous,
dark, and beautiful at the same time. Love can be those things as well.”

A rotating synth riff echoes British electro legends New Order and
is the beating heart of this new piece, yet the mood is meditative
and musing, strengthened by the near-whispering and eager vocals.
This darksome and soul-searching musing gets under your skin after
a couple of spins.

Buy/stream the track here…


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EX-HYENA: Facebook

Boston Duo EX-HYENA Shares Twilight Hallucination ‘CAPTURE THE STILLS’ From Upcoming Album

Daily electricity to load your batteries

26 January 2022

Band: EX-HYENA (Boston, MA)
Who: The musical project of Bo Barringer and Reuben Bettsak
crafting the sound of an emerging dystopia, a sort of fantasy
land that existed along the margins of reality and within the
confines of the imagination. A very short time later, their music
is simply the sound of our enclosed reality.

New single: CAPTURE THE STILLS

New cut from the duo’s forthcoming sophomore album
Moon Reflections, the follow-up to last year’s critically
acclaimed debut Artificial Pulse.

Bettsak: “‘Capture the Stills is dark and menacing. Bo wrote the lyrics to this one.
It certainly fits the vibe, and themes that Ex-Hyena often covers. To me, it’s like falling
into a David Lynch movie void, and witnessing two characters in a volatile relationship,
or something like that. This was the last song written for the second LP, and I’m glad
it made it on the album.”


(Great illustration by Ian Adams)

Turn Up The Volume: This twilight hallucination resonates as the shadowy side of Depeche Mode and the enigmatic darkwave murk of The Soft Moon. The iterating synth-riff at work here gets under your skin without asking. The atmosphere is impending, the tone is obscure, the color is black. All you need for a sonic nightmare.

Stream/download here…


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EX-HYENA: Facebook

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 KNOCKOUT TRACKS Of The Month – OCTOBER 2021

Turn Up The Volume‘s 20 Knockout Tracks for October 2021!
A stream of rattling rippers, jagged jams and romantic reveries.

All together on Spotify

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All knockouts, one by one

‘Magic Medicine’ by DEAP VALLY (California)

After 10 years the sisters in arms want to inject their bond with new musical challenges
to keep their marriage alive and kicking (they’ll be always alive and kicking anyway).

Their new LP called, yes, Marriage and lands on 12 November.

The first taster is a slo-mo synth-vaccinated groove with Lindsey Troy‘s fully charged
guitars all over it and Julie Edwards, as usual taking care of the solid backbone drum
beat. Troy‘s vocals and Edwards echoing voice in the back give the song an extra thrill.

Takeyour medicine here…

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‘Black Widow Spider’ by PARQUET COURTS (Texas / New York)

Last week the wayward Parquet Courts unleashed their 7th album, titled
Sympathy For Life. One of the many highlights is Black Widow Spider.

A sticky head-spinning rocker.

Turn it up, folks…

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‘Faze Out’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (UK)

Expect a slash and trash jackhammer, an angry
spit and sneer storm, a Sturm und Drang uppercut.

143 seconds of furious frustration is what you get. Retro organs
clatter like if a nightmare is just around the corner, but Domestic
thunders like he’s a determined survivor who will not go down
just like that.

Join the wild ride…

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‘Better Than Life’ by GLASS SANDS (London, UK)

I listened to the title track of this London-based singer/songwriter’s new album
about 50 times, so far. It’s a guitar-driven riff-hook-and-lick standout that cuts like
a new Swiss knife with feverish and heartfelt vocals amplifying the dumbfounded
chorus. Holy smoke.

Press play, it’s better than life…


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‘Pennsylvania by JESSE STONE (Montreal, CA)

The rock ‘n roll swagger of Eddie Cochran, the surf guitar electricity
of Link Wray, and the fervent fire of Bo Diddley. Get the punchy
picture? This rollin’ razzle-dazzle riffage will boost your mood.

Get up and twirl yourself dizzy

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‘Staying Here’ by ACTING STRANGE (Scotland)

Stadium rockers The Killers will nod their heads in praise
when they hear this Scottish duo new excellent album
Staying Here.

The title track is a sassy stonker, a glam-synth-bam
banger with a relentless beat and vivacious vocals.
Top cut!

Feel the vibe…

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‘Wild Flowers’ by WARMDUSCHER (London, UK)

London’s funk-punk gang is gearing up
for their big breakthrough album.

This first taster is a trippy bass-driven disco groove you can sway
your hips to in the morning while waking up, in the evening while
getting drunk, and during the day when you’re getting bored.

Fucktastic…

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‘Dad Vibes’ by LIMP BIZKIT (Florida)

I never really liked Limp Bizkit. They wanted
to be the white Rage Against The Machine
and jumped on every crossover bandwagon.

But hey, this new single made my ears flap like crazy.
After all these years I clap for Fred Durst & co.

Rap it up, Fred…

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‘Butterfly Room’ by SHATTERCONES (London)

This fulminating sucker-punch tackles the Brexit Apocalypse with
a raging force and poignant frustration. Watch your back, Bojo!

It comes from their staggering 4-track EP This Septic Isle.

Release the bats…


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Blacked Out‘ by THE MANIC BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (Toronto, CA)

When surreality becomes reality cry outs like these pop up to translate
alienated feelings that dominate your daily life. This club of two decided
to embed their frustration into a swirling dance stunner for our doomed
generation.

Pithy, peppery, and a blacked-out chorus that sticks as primo glue.
Add glamorous vocals and a glittering full-on wall-of-sound and the
final result is a supersonic stunner.

Here’s why…

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‘It’s Critical’ by SAVING JACKIE (San Antonio, Texas)

The heated rap-rock gang from San Antonio launched
a video for the title track of their debut album.

The clip is a clear-cut message regarding life-threatening diseases.
Flamboyant frontwoman Jenny 4C Ramirez emphasizes the fight
for your life
bravery while making your blood stream faster through
your veins.

Bang your head here…

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‘Chaos Space Marine’ by BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD (London)

These young gunslingers rushed to indie stardom with their ace
jazz and prog-rock influenced debut LP For The First Time.

Isaac Wood (frontman) about this brand new song: “it’s the best song we’ve ever
written. We threw in every idea anyone had with that song. So the making of it was
a really fast, whimsical approach – like throwing all the shit at the wall and just
letting everything stick.”

I smell great shit…


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‘Medicine’ by SLEEPSHAKE (Canada)

A blazing rock slam about the desperate need for stable emotional stimulation.
Blustering guitars, flurried synths, hot-blooded vocals, a discharging chorus, and somewhere in the middle a thunder and lighting guitar solo to electrocute all your
mind-destroying demons. Every time you take this medicine, you’ll get a kick out of it.

If you like British turbo Royal Blood
you’ll go berserk to this cracker too.

Yeahhhhh…

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‘The Met’ by COLATURA (Brooklyn, NY)

Instantly effective pop tunes like these make me smile
from left to right and back. Shiny guitars with shoegazy
sparks, a dizzy-making rhythm, happy-go-lucky sentiments,
and seducing vocals. A song that would turn Taylor Swift
into an indie star.

Check it out…


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‘Count The Death’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA: (London)

A crystal-clear structured protest against greedy political sharks and
megalomaniac charlatans oppressing people for their own devastating
agendas. Again Manimal and Samara show how to fuse poignant poetry
and versatile metal genres.

Manimal and Samara are sonic architects.

Follow their path here…

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‘Blood Moon’ by CONVERGE and CHELSEA WOLFE (USA)

The fab goth-metal gang made an album with goth heroine Chelsea Wolfe
and Cave In‘s Stephen Brodsky. The LP, titled Bloodmoon: I will soundtrack
our nightmares from November 19 on.

Here comes the first piece Blood Moon. A classic mix of deafening bombast,
theatrical doom and gloom, barking voices (except for Chelsea of course), and
hardcore torment. A perfect Halloween monster.

Your Halloween starts here…

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‘Wanna See’ by HANNYA WHITE (London, UK)

White continues her sound-exploring search. Here she fuses
symphonic instrumentation with deep-bass-resonating synth
turbulence. Trippy, dissonant, and even claustrophobic when
short fragments of White‘s restless breathing emerge somewhere
in there.

The ongoing pizzicato violin play adds both an airy and eerie timbre.
I have no idea what the totally silent outro with some echoes of (what
seems to be) firecrackers in the very end, is about. What I do know is
that the first thought that crossed my mind when hearing this, was:
Aphex Twin is back, in disguise.

Stream/buy ‘Wanna See’ here…


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‘Nightmare Pills’ by EX-HYENA

Pretty quick into the song the early days of electronic
British legends Human League and Baxter Dury‘s synth
pop sensuality (especially the female voices) popped up
on my stereo in my head.

It sounds as if this Boston tandem warns us of Big Brother’s ambition to brainwash humankind with mind-altering chemicals with this darksome, yet instantly striking
electro jam. Haunting, feverish, and gloomy are the keywords here. Best played at
night while being dazed and confused by the surreal times we experience the past
18 months.

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‘The Beachland Ballroom’ by IDLES (Bristol, UK)

A new album is canned and sees
the day of light on 12 November.

The lead single is “an honest-to-goodness
soul song named after the iconic Ohio venue.”

Expect the slower side of Idles with hefty eruptions now
and then and frontman Joe Talbot‘s blood cooking.

Feel the heat…

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‘Slow Down’ by MOONWOOD (Sydney)

It’s been a while since I heard an epic belter that evokes
an image on the screen in my head of a massive stadium
filled with a sea of people holding their phones up with
shining lights and scream at the top of their lungs.

This powerful love ballad will
trigger your romantic side…

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See/hear you next month, music junkies…

EX-HYENA Create Darksome Electro Atmospherics With Haunting Jam ‘NIGHTMARE PILLS’

Daily electricity to load your batteries

3 October 2021

Band: EX-HYENA (Boston, MA)
Who: The musical project of Bo Barringer and Reuben Bettsak crafting the sound of an emerging dystopia, a sort of fantasy land that existed along the margins of reality and within the confines of the imagination. A very short time later, their music is simply the sound of our enclosed reality.

New single: NIGHTMARE PILLS

“‘Nightmare Pills’ displays seduction and deception for the purpose of a crazy
mind control experiment. It delves a bit into the idea of futuristic mind control
drugs that give the user nightmarish, psychedelic visions.”

Turn Up The Volume: Pretty quick into the song the early days of electronic
British legends Human League and Baxter Dury‘s synth pop sensuality (especially
the female voices) popped up on my stereo in my head.

It sounds as if this Boston tandem warns us for Big Brother’s ambition to brainwash humankind with mind-altering chemicals with this darksome, yet instantly striking
electro jam. Haunting, feverish, and gloomy are the keywords here. Best played at
night while being dazed and confused by the surreal times we experience the past
18 months. But I guess it’s not a good idea to play this to anti-corona-vaccination
conspiracists.

Press play here…

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EX-HYENA: Facebook