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Exclusive: Vexed Breaks Down the Aggressive Output of Their New Album Negative Energy


Earlier today, British alt-metal act Vexed released their sophomore album Negative Energy. Stuffed to the gills with pent up rage and frustration over personal and social traumas experienced over the last few years, the record’s described by the band as a way of “sharing our vulnerability, fears and weaknesses.” And when you do that by beating the shit out of your instruments and punching back at all the bullshit, you typically get a pretty pissed off sounding record.

Heavier than their debut record, Negative Energy is 13 tracks of pure fury expressed by a band now more in tune with their tone and overall vitriol. Tackling everything from dealing with childhood traumas to dealing with the sexist bullshit that comes with being a female-fronted band in a male dominated genre, this new offering feels like an way to get some sense of catharsis.

In an effort to give listeners a deeper understanding into what went into Negative Energy, we asked guitarist Jay Bacon to sit down and break down each track. Thankfully, he’s provided some deeper insight not only into the meaning of each song, but also gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what went into the writing and production of the album as well.

But that’s enough from us. Here’s Jay Bacon on Negative Energy:


The whole point of this track is to set the tone for the rest of the album. We intentionally kept it super simple and stripped back, to help maintain a sense of tension and unease. The track starts with a vocal sample recorded by producer Meyrick De La Fuente, which details what happens upon death. This introduces the general theme of the entire album, concerning death, grief and processing traumatic experiences. 

Anti Fetish 

This is one of my favorites on the album, and one we spent a lot of time experimenting with. We’d toyed with the idea of pitched whammy’s for some time, and this track was the perfect place to implement it. Lyrically, this track describes the feeling of being constantly compared to other artists in the industry, specifically as a ‘female fronted’ band. We’ve had constant comparisons to every other female fronted band in the industry, and we’re super bored of them to say the least. I think this was the perfect first single to use, as it grabs your attention while simultaneously making a statement. 

We don’t talk about it 

This is a super fun track, both to play and listen to. It’s super bouncy but also one of the heaviest. The lyrical theme of this track is about having to keep quiet to keep peace, and suppressing childhood traumas. 

X my <3 (hope to die)

No one knows what happens after death, and that’s exactly what this track is about. There are so many opinions that people try to force on others, when we’re all just as in the dark as each other. A standout moment in this track for me personally is the verse, as it gives the rhythm section a good space to really lock in. It also features a really interesting build up towards the end, that we had a lot of fun experimenting with.

Panic attack 

This track is pretty self explanatory. Instrumentally, we tried to recreate the sensation of a panic attack, with fast paced rhythms eventually progressing to a super open and breathable chorus. I know our drummer Willem doesn’t have the most fun playing this one, however, the guitar is super fun. It’s one of the simplest but most effective tracks on the whole album in my opinion.

Lay down your flowers

This is one of the first tracks we wrote for Negative Energy, and one of my favorite riffs. It’s almost uncomfortable sounding, which I think is what gives it such character. Lyrically, it’s about people who live for attention and validation, and constantly victimize themselves without reason. We were lucky to have Lochie Keogh of Alpha Wolf featuring on this track, and as big Alpha Wolf fans ourselves, it really levels the song up for us. A standout moment in this track is its breakdown section, which I think may be the best breakdown we’ve ever done. 

There’s no place like home 

This is a track where our Thy Art is Murder influences may shine through. This track was super fun to write and came together very organically. It didn’t need much work upon the first drafts. The track features a reference to the Wizard of Oz, and we had to recreate the famous ‘there’s no place like home’ line ourselves, which was super funny. The tracks about the financial complications that arise upon the death of the loved one, and how people show their true colours.


Again, lyrically, this one’s super obvious to decipher. The track explores the theme of extremists, who constantly try and force their views on others. The track is extreme by name and nature, and is one of the harshest tracks we’ve ever written. It’s intentionally in your face and uneasy on the ear. A standout moment of this track is the ending breakdown, which is pure and unfiltered filth. I think musically, this track works perfectly with the lyrical theme.


This song talks about the depressive state that we find ourselves in when we’re not touring. It’s probably the most nihilistic track on the album, and is an accurate reflection of your inner voice when things are bleak and hopeless. The bridge in this song is a standout moment for me, it’s super trippy vocally and perfectly sets up the drip into the chuggy chorus.

Trauma Euphoria 

This track was the perfect choice as the third single, as it’s completely different to the rest of the album. The more ‘commercial’ sound of its chorus is super catchy, but it sustains the high energy of the rest of the album. We wanted to put out something people could actually sing along to, and our main objective was to write something that’d get stuck in the listeners head. Writing this song was super easy and natural, and I think its simplicity is what makes it so effective. Lyrically, it’s about the contradictory feeling of sudden euphoria following a traumatic event, and the feeling of mania that comes with it. This track features the only guitar solo on the album, and it took a lot of writing sessions to perfect. 

It’s not the end 

Potentially one of the most significant tracks on the album, it’s not the end describes the pain of loss and grief. It’s an extremely personal track, but one we hope many can relate to. There are so many elements on the track that come together to give it its unique and complex sound, and it’s one in particular which we’re all very proud of. It was really refreshing to me as a guitar player, to be able to write some really nice clean sections and have a short break from heavy chugging. The song slowly climaxes to a final, emotional drop, which is a good time for a cry. A highlight of this track for me personally is the final scream, and the following clean guitar outro. I think the last minute specifically really captures the mood of the track, and gives space for the listener to reflect and process how they feel.


We use this track as a bridge between ‘its not the end’ and the following track, ‘nepotism.’ It’s the perfect ‘breathe space’. I like to think of this track as an extension to ‘it’s not the end’, as it carries over the same theme and emotion. The track features voice recordings of our vocalist Megs late grandfather, Anthony Targett, who ‘it’s not the end’ is dedicated to. The track really drives the message home, and adds further weight to the emotion. 


Nepotism is something very real and very common within the music industry, although many turn a blind eye and refuse to believe this. Unless you experience it first hand, you don’t have a horse in the race. This track is another favorite of mine, as it’s just groovy riffs from start to finish. I think it’s important to end the album with a bang, and that’s why the placement of this track on the album is so effective. I also believe that given the emotional themes of the previous two tracks, this one helps bring people back up to a more energized state. The drawn out, pitch shifted breakdown which ends the song/album, is a perfect final blow for the listener. I’m glad we milked it and faded it out as gradually as we did.

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