We Are Hex
Hail the Goer
Roaring Colonel Records
Whether or not the members of
We Are Hex are still living together (in the so-called Hex Haus) in a dubitable
near-Southside neighborhood doesn't matter at this point. Because they're
living in a Hex Haus of the mind. "We ain't got no fireflies on this side of
town / we ain't got no streetlights to guide our way home," lead singer Jilly
Weiss howls on the opening track, "Birthplace of the Mystics," to the band's
sophomore album, and first on My Old Kentucky Blog offshoot Roaring Colonel Records
Records, Hail the Goer. Like Moose
of Jookabox on his last album Dead Zone Boys, We Are Hex sing of a spooky, post-industrial wasteland that rings downtown Indianapolis.
"We're all living in a
haunted house," she goes on, and with a synth in the background sawing
insistently a la Bernard Hermann's music for the shower scene in Psycho, we wonder if those ghosts are out for blood. But
we'll give up a little of our precious life-force for the pleasure of listening
to this new batch of songs (an economical eight in total) by the nervy,
aggressive, dark art rock band.
"Birthplace of the Mystics" (courtesy Roaring Colonel)
Hail the Goer picks up where We Are Hex's excellent debut Gloom
Bloom left off, in mapping out a landscape
of alienation with occasional hope, Weiss's
post-Riot Grrl vocals grating over a woozy soundscape of staccato and echoing
guitars, martial drums and minimal synths.
Where the album differs from
"Gloom Bloom" is in cramming new ideas into a shorter form; the aforementioned "We are the Goer" still
offering a weird, fragmented close, but these disjointed ideas only lasting a
few seconds before slamming back into the next tune. It's interesting to see
where Weiss takes each of the numbers, moving on "Gold_Silver" from a sneering
dismissal of trust fund babies to a wordless, tribal vocal as she gloats over
her effete kill.
"We Are The Goer" (courtesy Roaring Colonel):
Other points of interest: the
synths on "Singer_Tastemaker," which have that atonal oscillating feel that one
associates with early electronic art music; the attention-grabbing opening to
"Teeth Collection," when Weiss offers, "You can knock my teeth out," an opening
line which bodes well for any song; the many moods of "Don't Let Dirt in Here,"
which starts with a dim sound collage, moves through different rifts and
signatures, then closes with Weiss yelling, "Yeah, there's gotta be something
more," like she really means it.
The release show for Hail the Goer is Saturday, July 24 at Radio Radio. $8 will get you admission plus a CD, while $10 will get you admission and a vinyl copy of the album.