Album: The Howling Hex

All-Night Fox, DRAG CITY
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The Howling Hex is former Royal Trux guitarist Neil Michael Hagerty's latest combo, a snarling neo-blues rock beast that owes rather more to his previous avant-punk R&B outings alongside Jon Spencer in Pussy Galore. He describes this work as "Casino Music in the New Border Style", whatever that might be. "The worldwide campaign of the quilted big-screen continues as country music and rhythm and blues meet in the crucible of boredom," states the band biog, just one of several baffling proclamations whose cryptic manner extends to the track titles ("What, Man? Who Are You?", "Pair Back Up Mass With"), and, it goes without saying, the lyrics, which are rendered even less decipherable by the vast reverb applied to the vocals. But it hardly matters: it's the music that makes All-Night Fox such a singular work, a brittle, astringent blues variant akin to Captain Beefheart's distillation of the Howlin' Wolf formula. The Hex's applications of this raw blues spirit range from the relatively straight

The Howling Hex is former Royal Trux guitarist Neil Michael Hagerty's latest combo, a snarling neo-blues rock beast that owes rather more to his previous avant-punk R&B outings alongside Jon Spencer in Pussy Galore. He describes this work as "Casino Music in the New Border Style", whatever that might be. "The worldwide campaign of the quilted big-screen continues as country music and rhythm and blues meet in the crucible of boredom," states the band biog, just one of several baffling proclamations whose cryptic manner extends to the track titles ("What, Man? Who Are You?", "Pair Back Up Mass With"), and, it goes without saying, the lyrics, which are rendered even less decipherable by the vast reverb applied to the vocals. But it hardly matters: it's the music that makes All-Night Fox such a singular work, a brittle, astringent blues variant akin to Captain Beefheart's distillation of the Howlin' Wolf formula. The Hex's applications of this raw blues spirit range from the relatively straight, hypnotic Stonesy boogie of "Now, We're Gonna Sing", to the fractured beats and prickly guitar of "Instilled With Mem'ry", which recall the angular atonalities of Trout Mask Replica. In other words, as wild and free as they want to be.

Comments