Monday, April 12, 2010

Aquarius Records Review

HEX MACHINE Omen Mas (Minimum Underdrive) cd.

"This was a nice surprise, just showed up in the mail one day, and knocked our fucking socks off. These Richmond Virginia noisemakers kick out the face melting, head spinning jams, equal parts gnarled Voivod-ish math metal and grunge infused Amrep style noise rock, the guitars chug and howl and churn, the drums pound, the vocals are all over the place. From howled feral shriek, to punk yelp, to weirdly melodic croon, all wound up into killer, sprawling, epic SONGS. Catchy, tangly, dense, and so heavy.
From pounding midtempo dirges, all Jesus Lizard swagger and lurching Ved Buens Ende lope, to chugging nineties style post rock math metal, the Voivod-ness on tracks like "Lunatic Sun" are undeniable, but they're all tangled up with more modern noise rock like Young Widows or Daughters, a sound at once familiar and retro, but forward looking and utterly headbangable.
"Black Skeleton" opens with a flurry of tangled riffage and chaotic drumming, before locking into a stuttery groove, the vocals wound around the constantly shifting arrangement, and somehow, while all this weirdness and complexity is going on, it manages to be CRAZY catchy and super rocking.
"Godheads Full Of Candy", the 8+ minute centerpiece of the record, unfurls a weird, lumbering, almost Godflesh sounding industrial dirge, with some cool gnarled chug, flurries of double kick, clouds of tripped out processed guitar, eventually launching into some twisted, super mathy angularity, and for the rest of the track, flitting back and forth between the two, with some surprisingly melodic vocals, and yet another bunch of weirdly irresistible hooks.
The second half of the record, sounds weirdly way poppier than the first, to these ears, which is in no way a bad thing, hints of Bleach era Nirvana for sure, especially on record closer "Vivisection", as well as OLD Queens Of The Stoneage, but all twisted up with plenty of the aforementioned noise and math, the result a killer collection of convoluted pop flecked mathy and metallic, noise rock bliss, that we find ourselves unable to stop listening to..." --Andee Connors / Aquarius Records SF

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