Arnold de Boer (vocals, guitar), Andy Moor (guitar, baritone guitar), Terrie Hessels (guitar, baritone guitar), Katherina Bornefeld (drums, vocals) + special guest Roy Paci (trumpet).
Recorded March 22-24 2010 at Electrical Audio, Chicago, USA by Steve Albini. Mixed in Amsterdam in Andy's room by The Ex. Mastered at Chicago Mastering Service by Bob Weston.
The first all-new full length Ex release since "Turn" , and our first with new singer Arnold de Boer. Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago. Release date 6th September [US release on Carrot Top Records scheduled for January 25th 2011].
"Catch My Shoe" is The Ex's 25th CD/LP release on our own Ex Records, and our 123rd release in total. 9 brand new songs ranging from high energy Ethiopian Gurage ["Eyoleyo"], to hypnotic full-on dance tunes ["24 Problems", "Double Order"] and intense improvisations on "Bicycle Illusion". The sound is unmistakably The Ex but with new vocals and Konono-style catchy guitar riffs from Arnold and crunchy baritone guitar melodies from Terrie and Andy, all propelled by Kat's relentless driving "African" trance beats. The songs range in subject matter from climate confusion, unexpectedly throwing surprise objects, optical illusions, deceitful cropdusters, ice picks and late trains.
‘‘In a decade when everyone from the Incredible String Band to the Jesus Lizard has staged a comeback, The Ex top them all; not only are they still together thirty years after they first came together as a punk quartet playing gigs in Amsterdam squats, they've never compromised their values, and their music has never sucked. Key to their success is a commitment to constant change and improvisational acumen that enable them to turn circumstances that might break a lesser band into opportunities for growth.’’Bill Meyer - Chicago
‘‘It doesn't sound good on paper: Classic 30-year-old punk band loses vocalist, replaces him, and immediately records and releases a new album. Imagine the Buzzcocks with a ringer on the mic, for example. But the Ex is no ordinary band. This is possibly the most evergreen band that's ever existed, and Catch My Shoe is no exception. G.W. Sok's back-of-the-mix Cockney half-bark is missed, but his replacement Arnold de Boer, of Ex collaborator Zea, does a remarkable job in his stead, offering a voice of an entirely different power, a weird combination of loud and calm, between seething chant and pub-conversational. But, more than that, he offers a third guitar and, oh my, the sweeping result is like the hot, burning wind that comes right before an approaching forest fire.
But the new member is only part of the story. The Ex doesn't change, it evolves. In recent years, the band's been working with Ethiopian sax legend Getatchew Mekuria; its most recent output was a 2006 collaborative record with him. If you were lucky enough to see the Ex play with Mekuria and a full horn section two years ago at the Ottobar, you already have some idea of what the band can do with horns and African influence in general. Which would be the sort of seamless fusion that belies the word, or what happens when an artist approaches another culture with earnest curiosity about its music (versus trend-sniffing).
So, yes, take punk rock that manages to be both sweeping and sharp/angular enough to almost cross over into "math" and rewire its DNA with a blessed torrent of brass and crazy rhythms. Dig when it goes full-bore post-everything on "Eoleyo", in which drumming powerhouse Katherina Bornefeld takes the mic with the sort of traditional African vocal style that in the hands of any other Western band that comes to mind would be the sort of ugly exploitation/appropriation that gets Vampire Weekend bad write-ups. The Ex, of course, still has doomsday politics well intact: "Do you still watch a flat TV?/ Do you still listen to MP3s/ Well, no one has computers anymore/ Because cold, cold weather is back!" The Ex is the sort of band that can sing it, chant it, or shout it, and you just know that it's right. And, in some form, the band will be rattling the dull world's cage until cold weather is, indeed, back.’’