When: Sat., Jan. 3, 9 p.m. 2015
EX HEX, BIRDS OF AVALON, SEE GULLS
KINGS, RALEIGH | SATURDAY, JAN. 3
Through Autoclave, Helium or her own sometimes-great solo work, Mary Timony has earned more rock-nerd respect than broad name recognition. That's why Wild Flag, her collaboration with a couple of Sleater-Kinney vets, was so vindicating—a fun, high-profile culmination of her past. Bound by undeniable punk stature all around, that band felt creatively ripe and intellectually right.
But Timony, who's never had an extended period of artistic quiet, isn't the sort to sit idle while a bandmate films a comedy show or plots a more famous group's reunion. So out went Wild Flag and in came Ex Hex, a power-pop trio that has turned out even better. The new band's debut, Rips, delivers on its title's straightforward promise. Timony lets go of earlier prog-rock complication, as if declaring Chrissy Hynde more fun than Robert Fripp. And what monster could deny that? Ex Hex songs do carry subtler charms, but you mainly need to know that they go "Whoah-OH!" The excellent new Raleigh act See Gulls opens, as well as Birds of Avalon, whose new EP ranks among the best work of their career. 9 p.m., $10–$12, 14 W. Martin St., 919-833-1091, www.kingsbarcade.com. —Jeff Klingman