Josh Martin left Atlanta for New York in October 2007. The former guitar player for local punk staples Beat Beat Beat and Carbonas was passing through the Big Apple while on tour when he fell in love with the city. So much so that he decided, on a whim, to stay there for good. “I needed a change of scenery,” he offers dryly from his basement apartment in Brooklyn.
It was an impulsive move, especially considering Carbonas’ third full-length was on the verge of being released less than a month later.
“I’m proud as shit of that record,” he says regarding the self-titled release that went on to be Carbonas’ most lauded. “But I had to stay here.”
Martin’s exterior epitomizes the snotty punk-rock image prevalent in downtown New York, circa ’78. But his unmistakable sneer is a disarming front for his low-key demeanor. Likewise, the fast, raw melodies produced by his new trio Ex Humans draw a lashing musical contrast to his seemingly civil ways. Rounded out by bass player Todd Martin (no relation) and drummer Jesse Martinez, Ex Humans harness buzz-saw energy and pointed lyrical tirades.
The two songs on the first single, “Chicane” b/w “Detector” (Full Breach Kicks), trade hateful rants with confessions of damaged love and regret over pounding rhythms. The record harkens to the Aussie school of wistful/cynical punk catharsis laid down by such acts as the Saints, Victims, and Radio Birdman. Each song balances an impressive equation of rhythms and songwriting filtered through a noisy din. But there's no formula to Ex Humans approach, Martin adds. “We just kind of do it.”