Album Review: Exit_International – “Live at Le Pub”
The first time I saw Exit_International live was in support of Ginger Wildheart (the time and place escape me, probably due to alcohol and/or the number of Ginger-related gigs I have attended over the past decade) and I knew immediately that I was seeing something special, that this band was destined for huge success. While the second point is debatable, seeing Exit_International live is a very unique, intense proposition. The audiences may not always be enormous, but they have a rabid cult-like following that makes for a tremendous atmosphere at their gigs, and that is very much what has been captured on their new live album Live at Le Pub.
The setlist on Live at Le Pub is a strong mixture of tracks from the band’s debut album Black Junk and the acclaimed follow-up Our Science is Golden. It’s difficult to choose highlights, but on a personal level the live renditions of Glory Horn (lurching straight into Sex With Strangers), Kojack Rollkneck, Chainsaw Song and Lights Out would be my pick. The audience is vocal, but the band’s sound never suffers for it, while the intimacy and intensity of the venue become clear, even to someone who has never been to Newport’s infamous Le Pub. It makes for a really nice dynamic on a live record, and really paints a picture of what it feels like to be watching this band in person, which is something live albums to often fail to achieve.
Scott is in fine form veering from animalistic screams to melodic vocals with ease, while Fudge and Adam are pretty sensational in their own right, with all three members intricately interwoven into one glorious beast. Exit_International are a band who are very hard to describe, simply because there is no other band who sound quite like them. There’s a distinctiveness that comes through here that is difficult to quantify, and that is what makes them a band who are not only truly unique, but also sorely missed as a regular attraction on the UK gig circuit.
Still, would it have killed them to play Safety Dance?
A stellar tip down memory lane from a former Pure Rawk Awards headliner, Live at Le Pub is like having the band play in your living room/ears/wherever you're listening, effectively capturing the madness of an Exit gig and then some. Required listening.