Monday, 21 December 2009


Like an affair, a side project can be a pretty dangerous thing. And like an affair, it seldom begets satisfactory results. There are exceptions(Frank Blake, Some Girls etc.), but a side project is usually an ill conceived show of vanity(Bowie goes drum & bass anyone?) at best to a poor car-crash(hello Peter Hooks' Monaco)at its worst. Its with a hearty 'PHEW!' , then, that we welcome Ex-Crush into our little lives. Ex-Crush are a side project of The Just Joans' Chris and Katie. Don't worry though, JJ fans are in for a treat that wont ruin your appetite. The songs are positive, altered, focused and refreshing. Everything a side project could and should be.

Still founded on the Just Joans vision of crap chat up lines, pissed snogs and regret, they(perhaps bored with the 'indie ghetto', maybe blase with the twee-er than thou, maybe just plain bored) have ditched the strum and plink plonks for a fresher, hookier, beatier sound. Its a electro for people who cant afford their electricity bill.

If you imagine meeting Saint Etienne at 3am in a bar bemoaning the loss of a lover and sporting an unexplainable love bite, then you can get a sense not only of their sound, but also of their attitude.
'All boys break hearts' is a crisp, clean slice of charty dance pop. its gives Katie's voice lots of room to stretch and make its mark. Its a story of lost love. Real love. Its one of those songs you can dance and cry to at the same time. It may make you feel a bit guilty for having a penis.
'Wasted weekends' sound like Kenicke via a mid 90's remix, and an ambitious one at that. A sad little tale of regret delivered with typical brutal honesty. If it was sung with just an acoustic guitar it could snap a heart string, but as it is, its an odd curio. A Pet Shop Boys for the permanently pessimistic.

Ex-Crush, crying in a nightclub toilet near you.

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