In just under three minutes, Mary Timony's new outfit Ex Hex rescues the title "Hot and Cold" from Katy Perry's corporatized vicegrip. Timony has dabbled in all sorts of interesting shit over her 20+ year career; she's associated with an impressively diverse swath of bands ranging from Wild Flag to Sleater-Kinney to Autoclave. "Hot and Cold," though, might be her most straightforward release yet, indisputably just a compendium of time-honored rock 'n' roll tropes and topoi. It basically plays as if "Sweet Jane" were a b-side on Surfer Rosa, which should make it shitty and boring and totally watered down. But the midpoint chorus modulation saves the track from potential monotony, and Timony's vaporous, confidently feminine vocals glide over the muddy riffs so pleasantly, you'll hardly notice the abundant lyrical platitudes.