The Exies: Inertia (Virgin)

His bandmates sound equally talented and competent, and it seems apparent while listening to this CD that the Exies would put on an impressive, adrenaline-fueled live performance.

If you took one part Collective Soul and mixed it with one part Stone Temple Pilots, then threw in a dash of ’80s glam, a pinch of grunge, and a sprinkle of electronica, the resulting concoction would be a tasty and accurate description of the music created by the Exies. This four-piece from southern California (whose name comes from a John Lennon quote referring to extraterrestrials) caught the attention of Grammy award–winning producer Matt Serletic at a summer festival in 2000. Shortly after that, Serletic became the guiding force behind the creation of the band’s debut CD, Inertia, which successfully combines classic songwriting with a modern, edgy flair and a smart pop sensibility.

Each of the 11 tracks on this disc is just about three minutes in length, making them all primed and prepared for their potential journey to the airwaves. So far, only the first single, the grungy yet catchy “My Goddess,” has actually found its way there, and has reached a relatively high position on the modern rock charts. Another very strong track which could eventually end up as a single is the disc’s last song, “Genius,” which has an Alice in Chains–ish, slow-paced, moody vibe. Inertia’s crown jewel, however, is undeniably “Creeper Kamikaze,” which features rich harmonies, a highly addictive melody, as well as an orchestrated string section. This is the song that possesses the most potential to elevate the Exies to big-league status.

Lyrically, song topics range from personal tragedy, exemplified in “Can’t Wait,” to the forgiveness and redemption theme found in “No Secrets.” Lead vocalist/guitarist Scott Stevens sounds as if he sincerely means every word he sings, and plays his instrument with just as much honesty and credibility. His bandmates sound equally talented and competent, and it seems apparent while listening to this CD that the Exies would put on an impressive, adrenaline-fueled live performance. Currently on an extensive tour of the East Coast (which you can read all about on the Web site’s tour journal), the Exies just might make enough of an impression out there to cause the rest of the nation to take even more notice of this promising young group. www.theexies.com

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