The Lineup

The Exmonkeys

Raleigh, NC

Performing at the juncture of industrial modern rock and hip-hop isn’t exactly an advisable tactic. Littered with carcasses with names like Linkin Park and The X-Ecutioners, it’s a musical minefield with pitfalls aplenty. But from the most dangerous conditions come the most rewarding victories—Raleigh duo­ The ExMonkey’s are (still) living proof.

Members Ed Winstead and Ian Shannon have been tinkering around in bands and electronic projects since the ’90s. Joining together when a mutual friend needed sample material, Raleigh’s The ExMonkeys have become a refreshingly potent force in an often stale form. Grinding bits of noise and feedback, they suggest a gray and dusty apocalypse, windswept and hopeless. But the beats and bass lines sway with sensual energy, allowing The ExMonkey’s dread the luxury of irresistible motion. It’s from this tension that the music derives its power, like DJ Shadow in the back lounge with DEVO. It’s a sound made up of strange moves and seemingly insurmountable odds.

But it appears The ExMonkeys don’t listen to such naysaying. And that’s why they’re difficult to ignore. Along with Juan Huevos, they curated this night at The Hive at the request of Hopscotch. —Jordan Lawrence