Las Mordidas Ex-Voto LP

A worthwhile snapshot of a killer band that snuffed out too soon, Ex-Voto was a long time coming. Composed of ex-members of DC-based firebrands, LAS MORDIDAS burned briefly, but brightly, circa 1993 into 1994. CIRCUS LUPUS had just called it quits, but singer Chris Thomson was already working his lungs in a new group alongside players from BEEFEATER, RAIN, and FIDELITY JONES. Ex-Voto takes LAS MORDIDAS’s demo tape and shuffles it with a few unreleased cuts and vinyl appearances. “Surrounded” is the hit, digging a furious, heavy groove reminiscent of I Against I-era BAD BRAINS as Thomson essays the volatile nature of everyday paranoia. (The glaring absence of ass-kicking B-side, “K.I.T.A.”, is probably due to its Dischordian provenance.) “Bad Man” shows that these dudes could cram a pop hook into a pummeling post-hardcore punch-up. “Not Again,” a heart-pumping punker distinguished by Jon K.’s Dr. Know-inspired fretwork, was LAS MORDIDAS’s side of a split 7” with queercore maniacs MUKILTEO FAIRIES (on Lance Hahn’s great Honey Bear label). “Surprise Goodbye” is another unexpectedly tuneful take on a sort of post-punk/grunge hybrid. “Solar System” starts out LUPUS-like, then gets bitey then beefy then beastly. “Life Preserver,” one of the never-released songs, is practically a commercial alternative radio rocker in the best possible sense; I guess WGNS counts? Ain’t gonna front—it’s nice seeing this one poking out of the stacks.