Exit Angles: Iterate [Album Review]

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Exit Angles
Self-Released [2024]

Album Overview: Exit Angles, led by Jay Demko, formed in the early 2020s. Demko, previously known for his role in the influential ’90s post-hardcore band Lincoln, has spent decades pushing musical boundaries. The band debuted in 2023 with the LP A Sickness And a Fire (Blind Rage Records) and quickly established a reputation for their distinctive approach to under the radar rock. Iterate is the second album by Exit Angles, continuing the band’s exploration of the post-hardcore genre and building on the foundation laid by their first album with a more refined and expanded sound. Iterate is very controlled and focused as the band self-produced and self-released the album. It is what you want to hear from a DIY project: the record is not perfect, but those unfiltered imperfections give Exit Angles their character and individualized personality as a band. Iterate is also driven by Demko’s powerful vocals which are very J. Robbins (Jawbox) like and immediately grab your attention.

Musical Style: The West Virginia band blends post-hardcore influences from the Washington, DC scene with elements of post-punk. Their music features a tight rhythm section, meticulous guitar work, and raw, chant-like vocals, drawing inspiration from bands like Fugazi and Dead Kennedys, as well as The Fall and Minutemen.

Evolution of Sound: Iterate builds on the sound of their debut album by refining and expanding their musical approach. The new album incorporates more varied influences and a richer expansion of ideas, that increasing depth in their music.

Artists with Similar Fire: If you are into bands like Fugazi, Lungfish, Dead Kennedys, The Fall, Drive Like Jehu, and The Clash, Exit Angles will be in your wheelhouse. Some modern post-punk bands also like Super X, Shame and METZ share a similar reflective mix of post-hardcore, post-punk, and classic punk influences.

Pivotal Tracks: The opening song “From Here” is an instant key track with its slower riffs and sing-along drum beat. Iterate includes plenty of anthemic choruses and chant-like elements, highlighted on the rager “They Want A War.” “Sacred Name” is another track that showcases Exit Angles’ DIY sound with its raw, almost ballad-like approach supported by muscular guitar chords. The band has a natural ability to create engaging and memorable music.

Lyrical Strength: Jay Demko’s lyrics are a driving force in the album, featuring sharp political commentary and introspective personal themes. His writing rejects complacency and challenges the status quo, encouraging listeners to think deeply about societal and personal issues.

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Thomas Wilde
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