Review Summary: A little known gem.
British punk has been undergoing something of a renaissance over the past few years, with Gallows and Ghost of a Thousand among others proving more than capable of penning anthems to scream along to. Yet despite putting in the hard graft (touring with Lostprophets of all people!) and releasing a well hyped EP, Hexes have somehow failed to gain the sort of recognition afforded to the above two bands. Such is the neglect, White Noise/Black Sound was released two years ago but has never been properly reviewed on this site.
This is a pity, because what we have here is an album brimming with invention, individuality and brutality. Very much one to file under acquired tastes,' it is never-the-less difficult to avoid being immediately hooked by opener 'Semaphore Kids.' By the time the chorus of second track 'Eyes Like Knives' is carving through the speakers it's clear that this is a band with some serious song-writing chops, and intensity to match.
The riffing is superb throughout: angled guitars interweave with an exceptionally well employed synthesiser, lending a melodic depth to each new burst of noise. The band as a whole display an instinctive ability to forge infectious rhythms, more than a little reminiscent of Refused at their best, or even now defunct metallers SiKth. Meanwhile, the vocals of Daniel P Carter (not a member of family Frank Carter: instead bassist of 'A' and guitarist for 'Bloodhound Gang'. It's a strange world.....) will not be to everyone's taste, but they drip venom when spitting out the near indecipherable lyrics. The two combined give rise to some irresistible moments, with 'Kiss the Guns,' 'Curse the Rotten' and 'Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan' standing out in particular (again, the debt to Refused is clear in all these tracks, but this is no bad thing!)
Of course, the album isn't perfect: though there aren't exactly any dud tracks there are a few which feel a little too much like filler, such as 'The Score' and 'Hot Ice/Punishment Soiree'. Nor is there any real change to the sound. However, when this is a sound which, at its best, satisfies both in terms of musicality and raw emotion, that's not really much cause for complaint. Besides, there's always the punishing riffing of 'The New Immedialists' to force itself into your immediate consciousness.
Standout Tracks: Eyes Like Knives, Kiss the Guns, Curse the Rotten, Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan.