Single Review | The Exempt | Well, Well, Well & Used To Have It All

As the saying goes: “Good things come to those who wait” and that certainly rings true with Dundee three-piece The Exempts releasing not one, but two, fantastic brand-new singles.

Coming just over a year after the release of their previous single Doll, the garage/ alternative rock trio’s new singles Well, Well, Well and Used To Have It All are well worth the wait. The band – consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist, Michael O’Rourke, drummer, Andrew Balmer, and bassist Sam Goodfellow – delivers two highly polished singles that demonstrate their broad sonic range. With Well, Well, Well – a hard hitting rock number – complemented nicely by the slightly more mellow tones of Used To Have It All.

Well, Well, Well immediately launches us headfirst into a tight driving mix of guitar, drums and bass. O’Rourke’s vocals soon weave their way into the mix and the rapid yet melodic delivery of the lines “tap into my rhythm, get to know me, you don’t know me at all” feels like an invitation layered with mystery. Although one we are all too happy to accept.

It does not take long for the song to reach its roaring chorus. The rapid-fire call and response between O’Rourke and his guitar creates a memorable hook that will have this song playing on repeat in your head for weeks on end. Throughout this all, the heavy bass, and thumping drums of Goodfellow and Balmer continuously drive the song forward with rhythmic intent and provide a more than solid foundation for O’Rourke’s electrifying guitar work. Each part of the band complements the other and works to create an end product of an extremely catchy song that even when not blasting out of your speakers, will still be playing on repeat in your head.

Not content with one great song. The Dundee trio have also released a second single: Used To Have It All. The track takes a more slowed down approach in comparison to Well, Well, Well, but retains all of the elements that made Well, Well, Well such an effective and catchy tune. The drums and bass once again work wonderfully together to create a tight groove upon which the song’s main riff is built and also beautifully complement O’Rourke’s melancholic vocals. Each and every element serves the song and for me, is the epitome of what makes The Exempt such an excellent band. Nowhere is this more evident than in the song’s impressive outro where each member of the band shines. Melodic guitar, groovy bass and thumping drums all work in harmony to see us out in a way that is only fitting for such an exceptional song.

With the band already having been featured and acknowledged by numerous radio stations and podcasts including N.M.S, Wave FM, The Premium Blend, Amazing Radio, and most recently Islington Radio. The future looks bright for this Dundee trio and I for one cannot wait to see what 2023 brings for them.