Hex: The Hill Temple (digital platforms)

 |   |  <1 min read

Hex: The Hill Temple (digital platforms)

Wellington trio Hex sidestep the outright gloom'n'doom of much Goth by virtue of the powerful melodic thrust and reach of their female voices, and styles which range widely from almost domestic grunge-pop (the quiet-loud dynamics of Billboard, the forward momentum on the Page of Pentacles) through the ethereal and declamatory (the punishing space-filling shoegaze guitar landscape on Sight Beyond the Line and the claustrophobic Moon) to the metal-edge of the gripping Gardener's Prayer.

There is an elevating psyche-out quality at work here too mixed with indie-rock on the substrata of metal (It Begins with a Man), and it should go without saying there is female empowerment and literate lyrics throughout these eight, taut songs.

In a nice touch it is released on Valentine's Day, February 14, who might be recognised as the patron saint of lovers but also came to a nasty end when he was tortured and killed. Which might explain the lines, “love, love, love is the joke, we all want to get it first” on Sight Beyond the Line?

This is powerfully delivered, hard-edged rock with pop sensibilities (verses, choruses) and closes with the title track, which opens with an almost medieval folk-rock passages before becoming more and more a widescreen prog-rock epic across its eight-plus minutes.

Released through major digital platforms but also on vinyl through Flying Out in New Zealand.

An impressively consistent debut which should serve them well in advance of a US tour and an appearance at SXSW.

Recommended.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ori Barel: Centrifugal Force for Player Piano (Albany/digital outlets)

Ori Barel: Centrifugal Force for Player Piano (Albany/digital outlets)

We expect by now few people come to Elsewhere expecting the always-familiar, so this album by American composer Ori Barel for player piano is one for those prepared for something elsewhere.... > Read more

Rickie Lee Jones: Sermon on Exposition Boulevard (NewWest/Elite)

Rickie Lee Jones: Sermon on Exposition Boulevard (NewWest/Elite)

Not gonna lie to you: this is not the easiest album RLJ has made. It takes the form of some strange, sometimes Beat-styled ruminations on the life and words of Christ and how they have been... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

Okay, this one had me stumped -- and increasingly impressed. The guy on the black'n'white cover sitting outside a clapboard shack is a round-faced thirty something white guy, but the guy singing... > Read more

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Old and new, the same but different

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Old and new, the same but different

In Kuala Lumpur which offers a colourful multicultural tapestry of life, it was a small but significant image: just before the expensive frockshop in the up-market Starhill Gallery opened the... > Read more