Ex-Lion Tamer
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Ex-Lion Tamer

| INDIE

| INDIE
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Ex-Lion Tamer are way too good for us..." - Time Out Tel-Aviv


"Go Ghost is an amazing album of one of the best bands in Israel" - City Mouse- Tel Aviv


As if it weren’t enough for the New York-by-way-of-Tel Aviv trio Ex-Lion Tamer to wear their Sonic Youth homage like a red badge of courage on their collective sleeve, they even hired original SY producer, Wharton Tiers, to lovingly helm the production of this disk. Singer/guitarist Zoe Polanski and Assaf Tager prodigiously exude the uncanny interplay that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon perfected during their mid-‘80s reign. It’s hard not to succumb to Go Ghost’s more tuneful (read: accessible) forays like “In hope of An Evil Star” and “Japanese Flower,“ both of which have dreampop tendencies. (tinstarcreativepool.com). - BIG TAKEOVER MAGAZINE


As Ex-Lion Tamer plink away at the very top of their guitar strings to create a lovely patter of harp-esque twangs on “Toxic Avenger” — btw, have you seen that movie? Along with Bad Taste, one of the best bloodsploitation films of all time — one can’t help but wonder what makes them so unique yet familiar. Go Ghost is not a vivid pop pop-up book, nor a romantic rock novel, nor a sprawling, churlish orchestra narrative à la Celine.

E-LT equate most closely to the one, the only, the fat/drunken Bukowski. Much like the underground poet/author, whose post-Fante prose helped shape the style of so many fiction writers, Ex-Lion Tamer approach their art with a directness rarely heard in the age of synth, sunny-day froot-loops, and Sufjan. Theirs is a frill-free indie-rock, sans adornments, over-elaboration, and clutter, and you’ll thank them for checking their pretensions at the door.

Even if you do crave excess, the drama inherent in Go Ghost makes for a real page-turner. Tempering their simplistic fuzz riffs with just the right amount of dissonance, Lion Tamer: Ex formulate a riveting template and stick with it through the highs and lows of each track, lending unique shades and dancing dalliances of variety when needed. The one rough spot is Assaf Tager’s vocals, which don’t live up to the sprawl of the arrangements and almost mimic, of all people, Eddie Vedder at times.

It’s a small price to pay for the rowdy rally cry reams of co-singer Zoe Polanski. In fact, it makes for a game of good cop-bad cop Glover and Gibson could never imagine, similar to the way Matthew Friedberger’s voice bides its time until his more vocally talented sis’ takes over Blueberry Boat’s reigns again. This package bundles up a bevy of straight-up drum beats with little deviation, off-the-cuff-without-being-too-bombastic vocals, two highly distinct guitar personalities trading licks and pick-scrapes, and very, very elemental bass. Go Ghost won’t make you as happy as a kid on Christmas morning, but it will serve as a nice indie season’s greeting during a slow period for rock releases. - Tinymixtapes.com


A New York City-via-Israel trio with a song from Wire’s Pink Flag as its namesake, Ex-Lion Tamer is a near antithesis to its major influences’ sounds—they’re a stripped-down Sonic Youth, or a My Bloody Valentine of un-epic proportions. Go Ghost is sloppy, noisy and melodic—a worthy competitor to its forebears, and excellent on its own terms.

Reverting to the traditional guitar/bass/drums arsenal, Assaf Tager, Zoe Polanski and Haggai Fershtman serve up jagged, viscous pop with alternating singing duties throughout Go Ghost. It’s not Deerhoof-cute, and it’s not over-the-top experimental; despite that Swans and Lydia Lunch and DNA are considered influences, Ex-Lion Tamer is a relatively listenable band, rarely venturing into noisy dissonance to the point of scaring people away (save for “Charlie Head,” an excellent pairing of no-wave and post-punk.)

Go Ghost isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s certainly not pretentious about it. While the band’s influences are often obvious, Ex-Lion Tamer has concealed enough to make the listener uncertain as to exactly from what era the record came, a feat in itself. That aside, the songwriting is interesting and varied, fraught with manic energy and a denial of convention. - Silent uproar


When was the last time you gave your ears a beating? Not just that playing your iPod dangerously loud while you listen to The Decemberists, thing, either. We're talking about full-spectrum, ear-splitting noise, you know, in the style of Sonic Youth, The Pixies or My Bloody Vaentine? The ear-punishing sort of din that makes sound engineers' ears bleed, owners of high-end stereo equipment cry for wasting their money and your neighbors call the police to report bomb testing in the apartment above them.

Next time you need to knock the cobwebs out of your eardrums, consider Ex-Lion Tamer. While the act's blend of the MBV/Pixies/Sonic Youth continuum isn't either too surprising or massively inventive, the band's debut minces its noise-patrol background enough to make things as interesting as they are noisy. Guitar tones that snake through miles of fuzz and effects pedals before coming anywhere near an amp, the grimy background drones and male/female vocals give the band a solid Washing Machine and Dirty foundation, Go Ghost shoots for deceptively snappy pop that breaks from Sonic Youth's more avant-garde leanings.

Despite all the murky guitar tones and overdriven distortion, "Shaky" could be a bona-fide pop song -- and not in that freaky-deaky MBV way either, as guitars jump and whirl around the sort of fret-board sweetness usually reserved for shy indie kids. "Toxic Avenger" is shattering early Los Angeles punk that's fattened up with a liberal dose of shoegazing guitar effects, as guitars furiously flounder toward hardcore's sweaty tempos, dragging a rhythm section and vocals along without tying them down. "Japanese Flower" puts the band's Kim Gordon fetish at the fore, with its most unabashed rip-off of the Sonic Youth pattern on the album, while "My Little Lioness" is dream-pop or indie played through a thousand dying stomp boxes. Whether going for fast or melodic, Ex-Lion Tamer is always consistent in one area: Its waves of distorted noise and grainy guitar tones that beg listeners to crank up the stereo to inhumane volume levels.

Admittedly, Go Ghost is a little too derivative for it to be the sort of things to start the "I heard them first" wars in the blogsphere -- which is yet another mark in favor of Ex-Lion Tamer -- but, unless you're the who's too obsessed searching for tomorrow's next big thing to enjoy today, it'll tear your ears up just fine. - Aversion.com


A band with the name of a Wire B-side is going to sound just like all the other post-punk bands of the day, right? Wrong! This Israeli trio, sounding more like a blistering fusion of My Bloody Valentine and New York no-wavers Sonic Youth and DNA, have created an album that not only blasts away its no-wave competition, but also the current shoegazers who hail Kevin Shields & Co. as the demi-gods of rock music. Ex-Lion Tamer uses the ambient guitar and fuzz of MBV’s heyday, but fuzzes this sound out even more. Assaf Tager’s guitar and Haggai Fershtman’s percussion varies throughout Go Ghost, as they venture to both extremes of ambience and noise. Even Zoe Polanski’s backup vocals vary throughgout the album as she ooh’s and aah’s like Bilinda Butcher on “My Little Lioness” and then squeals manically on “Toxic Avenger”. Like MBV and Sonic Youth, Ex-Lion Tamer nevertheless maintains a harmonic fell to their music, creating melody and harmony with even the fuzziest guitar. - Amplifier Magazine


Discography

Ex-Lion Tamer/ Go Ghost. 2006 (Tinstar Creative Pool).

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Ex Lion Tamer, a feedback-loving trio, make eclectic, distorted avant-noise.
Ex lion tamer consists of Zoe Polanski, Assaf Tager and Haggai Fershtman.
They met in Tel Aviv a few years back. Assaf (from England) and haggai were Busy bees; Playing in numerous bands, introducing noise music to unexposed ears in tel aviv, such as Zoe's.
she decided to start a band, and soon after the 3 found each other.

The trio journeyed from one delusional environment to a fragmented other,
and got the opportunity to co-operate with their favorite musician, Wharton Tiers (Theoretical Girls, Producer for sonic youth, Dinosaur jr and Pussy Galore).
Tiers produced their debut album 'Go Ghost' and inspired them to explore the expressive, non – linear approach to creativity and music.

In the past year, they have toured USA, performed in Tel Aviv, and implemented all experiences and impressions in writing.
Ex lion tamer are about to go on a US tour and record their second release with producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans and Herbie Hanckock).
Following are tours in Spain and Japan.