EXMAID: Fair Sex: LP

Miranda Taylor of Hunchback and Black Wine is a mainstay of the New Jersey DIY scene. As the songwriter and frontperson of Exmaid, her soft, tuneful vocal melodies complement the dense guitars, like a lullaby enveloped in distortion. Album opener “Vamp” sets the tone: noisy, angular, and hypnotic—it’s an uncompromising sound. “Easy” trudges along with a heavy riff brightened by Taylor’s exuberant voice while “Devoted” commands with a spastic tempo and seething vocals. Fair Sex is an achievement. All ten songs somehow meld the minimalism of The Breeders with the angularity of post-hardcore, resulting in a record that exudes a palpable passion that’s impossible to shake. –Sean Arenas (SRA, srarecords.com, [email protected])