Exist from the Parisian band Exist of the same name, is a lush, perfect rock n’ roll EP that will have true rock n’ roll acolytes falling to their knees and paying homage to their speakers, thanking the ancient gods for stringed instruments.
Exist plays their rock 'n roll clean and intentional. Guitarist Vitha plays huge rock riffs, but with a clean, tensile, whip smart intensity. They have the same love of big anthemic rock n’ roll of early Smashing Pumpkins, but the post-punk wiry charging adrenaline of Gang Of Four or The Strokes. The barbed wire guitars cut through the sparse pallet of bass/guitar/drums like a cheesegrater, convulsing you in all the right ways.
The thinness and precision of the guitars allows them to hang in perfect precision over the battery of the rhythm section. And this is the key to the success of this too-short gem of an EP.
Every instrument is polished and placed to perfection. The drums are huge and booming, playing grinding break beats at half-speed in a stairwell in a way that would make John Bonham proud. The bass glistens like its been dipped in oil: low, throbbing, hypnotic, threatening at menace, on album highlight "Delirious Miracle," which makes the sunburst joy of the chorus that much more exultant.
When an album sounds great, you're poised to receive it graciously. They've got your attention. When you follow perfect production with strong songwriting and musicianship, you've got it made. Exist have something for everybody who still loves rock n’ roll. They play their rock n’ roll smart and stylish, with nary a note out of place. But instead of going for big, beefy greasy machismo, Exist is more focused, more intentional. They're like archers, patiently taking aim on their mark and finally striking their bull's eye.
I personally find the chromelike psychedelia of post-punk to be particularly fascinating. It's like '60s-style psych inherently that has a kind of paisley/Day-Glo sheen about it, lime-green and phosphorescent. While I love it dearly, there are other shades to paint with. Exist reminds me of a stylish black and white film, maybe with a pop of red here and there. They're like a Mondrian painting - deceptively simple, but a triumph of graceful architecture. For those that like to dream in royal blue and crimson; for those who like to sweat all night and still believe rock can be an explosion of creativity and self-actualization, this one's for you. I couldn't recommend it highly enough!
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