An early version of slowcore band Rex originated in Maine in 1991, but at the time, drummer Doug Scharin was devoting most of his time to slowcore innovators Codeine. In 1994, Rex relocated to Brooklyn. With bands like Idaho, Acetone and the Red House Painters helping to keep alive the pensive, brooding slowcore movement, Rex didn't waste any time recording their self-titled debut for Southern Records that same year. This record fluctuates wildly between gentle, meandering guitar lines and powerful, emotive vocals.
The band's next album, C, revealed a significantly more mature version of Rex. The slow, rolling nature of the band was augmented by the addition of an occasional string accompaniment and a more restrained vocal and emotional focus. Adored by the critics, C established Rex as one of the premier indie rock bands earning them touring spots alongside the Sea and Cake, Sebadoh, and others.
The steady, driving nature of C neatly foreshadowed what was to come with 3. Enlisting a full-time string section for both studio sessions and touring, Rex was successful in trading their gritty slowcore/post-rock with a cleaner gentler sound. The band's maturity signals a further emphasis on clarity and composition, as opposed to previous efforts where crescendoed bursts of emotional power defined their art.
The band's ties to Chicago has incited a collaboration with Red Red Meat, released under the name of Loftus, and recording sessions in Brad Wood's Idful Studio. Doug Scharin has also recorded a solo sound experiment under the name HIM, also released by Southern. ~ Marc Ruxin