If you heard someone say "I Am Your Bastard Wings", you definitely would think of big brassy/orchestral instrumentation, right? If you did, you’ve pretty much described Eksi Ekso’s debut album.
Eksi Ekso, formly known as On Fire from Boston, combines grandiose string arrangements with a heavy bass and drum line to form a sound undeniably theirs. ‘I Am Your Bastard Wings’ starts with the very Moody Blues-y ‘The Wintering’ which quickly leads into ‘O’God, They’ve Frozen’; rightfully so. Equipped with a very dramatic horn and very regal orchestrations, you quickly come to an understanding that they are not the weird indie band you thought they were based on their album title. ‘Killing Texas’ has a different aura from the last two and it happens to be my personal favorite. The drum and bass combination is really ideal, and the heavily distorted orchestra really creates a nice effect. ‘The Choir Will Always Sing’ is very similar to ‘Killing Texas’ but a lot more fantasy/dreamlike. The drums are the work of pure brilliance though, I must say. ‘Albatross’ is not quite as nice as the previous two. The horns that start the song off are promising, but then the song just gets way too artsy and over the top. ‘I Thought You Died Last Time’ is a decent song. About the only true thing that sticks out is that the strings are the exact same sound as Ra Ra Riot’s signature strings. ‘Nitnb’ starts with a lone violin and piano. The piano effect is really very effective because they shockingly hardly used a piano until now. Though only a minute and a half long, every second is packed with melancholy splendor. ‘Marvi’ sticks out from the rest but really not in a good way. The guitar and drums overtake the song so much that it sounds like an emo-mess rather than a nicely arranged masterpiece, which is not for me at all. The bassline in ‘The Gallows’ is possibly its best attribute, but the dissonance is a little too unpleasant for my liking. ‘Just Leave’ is a little too over dramatic for me, especially after hearing the last song, but the vocals in this song are the best they’ve been. ‘(Spouse Of) The Blind Hunter’ is a very nice little song. Like ‘Nitnb’, it’s very melancholy, though the vocals are pretty creepy, but that was probably not the point. ‘Russian Excuse’ is a very calm song and the very subtle build-up is a very good effect. The very end sound is like a guitar clicking or something and it goes on for about 30 seconds: that to me is just a little weird.
Though no song really stands out unless it was really bad, and it gets pretty repetitive without actually repeating itself, I must say, ‘I Am Your Bastard Wings’ wasn’t that bad. Eksi Ekso are very good instrumentalists and the majority of the songs are truly very nicely arranged. The combination of drums with a light string section is definitely their forte. If you’re not into a too mainstream sound and you like your obscure compositions, I would very strongly recommend this album to you.
EKSI EKSOKILLING TEXAS
Written by Double Hawk