Emerging out of Amsterdam's vibrant squat scene in 1979, The Ex – a name chosen for the ease and speed with which it could be spray-painted onto a wall – have for four decades been an entirely self-sustaining musical entity, charting a course through the global underground with a spirit of freedom and radical exploration.
All Corpses Smell The Same, The Ex's first single, marks the beginning of this DIY odyssey – appearing in June 1980 on Hé Records, a precursor to the band's own stalwart Ex Records imprint. The core of The Ex's propulsive sound can be found in these tracks, as they show a band starting to push beyond the boundaries of punk. The exuberant jag and slash of Terrie Ex's guitar drive "Human Car" and "Rock 'N' Roll-Stoel," while the rhythmic churn of "Cells" and "Apathy Disease" hints at the shape of Ex music to come – centering on vocalist G.W. Sok's incisive poetic invective.
With only 500 copies pressed originally and gone in a flash, All Corpses Smell The Same quickly became a legendary piece of the international punk puzzle, and The Ex would begin an inspiring career that continues to this day. These songs show that from the jump, The Ex were operating on punk's freest and most exploratory edges. In the words of The Mekons' Jon Langford, The Ex have "always epitomized the boundless potential of punk's initial moment."