Hailing from South River, New Jersey, the electro group xex put out just one record, the stellar 1980 LP, Group: xex. The no guitars/all-synthesizers band lasted just a few short years, falling off the radar by the early ‘80s and languishing in obscurity until the late ‘90s, when their album was—by chance—re-discovered.
xex (yes, it’s supposed to be lowercase) was formed in 1978 by three high school students, simply for their own amusement. By 1980, the project had become a more serious thing, with the unit expanding to a quintet. In August of that year, they recorded the material that would make up their debut LP. Pressing up just 1,600 copies and assembling the package by hand, the self-released Group: xex came out in November.
The group’s lyrical subject matter is largely a means for social commentary, in which the members of xex sing about consumer culture, suburban conformity, organized religion, automated technology, the surveillance state, the rat race of life, and the threat of nuclear war. What makes Group: xex such an awesome album is that it’s a thought-provoking and super-fun record, filled with catchy songs, in which the band effortlessly blends the robotic stiffness of DEVO, and the electro coldness of the Normal and Gary Numan, with the liveliness of the B-52s. There’s a level of sophistication here, but still the air of outsider art.
Much more xex after the jump…