Ex-Cult’s Five Favorite Sonic Influences

Photo: Renate Winter

 Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

Memphis punk outfit Ex-Cult is twisting the genre into new shapes on their self-titled debut. “There’s not a lot of boundaries and it’s uninhibited,” singer Chris Shaw says of their first volume of tracks, produced by their friend and former Goner Records labelmate Ty Segall. Their anxiety-filled record has an honesty that can be hard to come by, with Shaw penning songs about isolation and feeling aimless; a chronicle of “what it’s like to be mid-twenties and not sure what you’re doing with your life.” The group’s influences are also wide-ranging within their preferred realm, tracing punk’s roots to the present. Hive talked to Shaw about the five records that had the strongest influence over their sound and direction.

1. Television Personalities, Mummy Your Not Watching Me

It’s pretty much a pop album but there’s a level of creepiness to it that makes it really interesting. It’s depressing to listen to, but they did an awesome job of touching on all kinds of themes that are uncharted in songwriting. The title track is told from the perspective of a kid who’s not getting enough attention and it’s disturbing, but it’s packaged as a punk pop song. They think outside of the box, lyrically, in a way that you don’t normally see in punk songs.
2. Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, 801 Live

Obviously Brian Eno is amazing, but Phil Manzanera’s guitar work stands out the most and was a big influence on our guitar player Alex. He picked up the record at a garage swap meet in Memphis. Everyone is deeply involved with the local punk scene here, from putting on shows to playing in other bands and Alex used to run a venue when he first moved here.

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