Excepter Debt Dept.

[Paw Tracks; 2008]

Styles: protest house, anarcho-apocalypto-syntho-modo
Others: Devo, Prince, Comus, Giorgio Morodor

‘Post-apocalyptic’ doesn't quite cut it anymore. No one will likely be able to identify the apocalypse except in hindsight, so prescient individuals will have to rely on other clues in order to divine whether heading for the hills is a foregone conclusion or a prudent move.

Heralds of an age when fascist suppression comes as fossil-pinned luxuries deteriorate will comfort themselves knowing that dissonance may be the staff that strikes the ground harder than coercion or apathy. Dissonance's ability to challenge and unseat is a singular criterion that might be applied to any evaluation of art that professes, either directly or surreptitiously, to be part of a seditious underground.


Excepter promo material is, in this case, a sheet of white paper. One side is printed with the familiar layout of most press sheets, with the tracklisting and some boilerplate hype, label/booking info, etc. That stuff is generally boring, although it provides useful FACTS that might pique the interest of a reader looking for details.

- Of 17 tracks recorded, eight were chosen.

- A bonus track was added to the CD.

- Publicity by Forcefield.

- Debut LP on Paw Tracks.

- There are six members in the band.

But the other side of the PR sheet is something different and atypical, and it suggests a curious machine of the revolutionary vigils. A diagram of a divided pyramid reveals differing degrees to the “Exceptarian sonic-society/Intelligent Agency network,” which seems to be a virally propagated web of aurally-inspired sonic warriors. The base of the pyramid is populated by “Non-Excepters,” including such familiar names as Interpol (not the band), ASCAP, and Rock Star Bar.

Is this tongue-in-cheek, or is Excepter actually trying to enact a sonic rebellion, a Tyler Durden-style anarchy spawned from the notorious live show freak-for-alls? I suppose the truth of the pudding is in the meeting. So I met the album behind the paper, and let my ears decide whether Excepter is truly the vanguard of a new world where "Sonic Ritual Eardrum Sacrifice" inspires. Does Excepter deliver on their Paw Tracks debut? A couple listens might be necessary, since the music is dense and seems profound. I'll get back to you.


Indeed, these songs are throbbing, dense, and dripping black, like rotting eggplants on terrible trampolines. The vocals are at the front and beats are high and tight. The ocean in the background might be a delayed moan or a synth note drenched in solder. When six people get together to make a dark dance record, the music is bound to be tied together in ways that defy the ear's attempt to pinpoint the elements. It's better to analyze Excepter as a concept or monster, rather than try to isolate certain elements and evaluate their own merit (with the exception of the vox, which float above the rest of the mix with clarity and intent). Excepter left behind psychedelia when they decided to create a prototype for some kind of post-post-punk dance haze genre, the kind of music I'd like to have playing in the background when I traverse the catwalks of the broken-down world of destroyed boundaries and technological mayhem. The vocals sometimes sound a little Muppet-like, so I'd probably pick this album to be the soundtrack of a lovechild film, conceived in a converted ‘83 VW diesel pick-up between Resident Evil and Planet of the Apes. Enjoy.

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