Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Hex on Negative Fun Records

Tacoma, Washington, home to Red Hex, is sandwiched right between Olympia and Seattle, two hotbeds of music and the center of DIY and grunge movements. It's hard to escape those references and thick distortion sounds when putting on this single from Red Hex. They seem to be running a straight line back embracing a sludgy metal and punk while at the same time managing a distinct break from that past.

Squealing feedback opens the A-Side "Shoulda Known" straight to a snappy, all treble wound tight drum kit so the rest of this black waveform can be dominated by the layers of square distortion. The vocals from Sam Olsen have a hefty distortion spread on them as well with tight reverb and twisting garage decay. Recorded with the energy and whiff of a dustbowl twister blowing through the whole session. The trio is doing their best to just stand up, leaning into the rush and taking out the entire midrange with the fuzz of No Age and the harsh almost industrial style brutish approach to this chiseled out tune. If The Hussy were filtered through Front 242 and performed live with those jagged, inhuman sounds created right in front of the mic. It's retained it's pent up raw garage energy, complete with an amp punishing Ty Segall squawk. This is ultimately pointed towards heavier horizons, but it's full of that reverb space and bouncy underwater tin can sound. It's also about a minute long but when things are going along at this speed, you didn't really expect them to keep this up - or is it that you can't?

"Down in the Dirt" starts the B-Side with a crunchy muffled loop of acoustic, a warbled country false start before launching back into their hugely anti-fi sound with thundering bass from the double time kick, getting more of a sweaty hardcore groove in place. Here's where that sludgy seattle superfuzz sound echo's in gravely vocals and a more restrained tight distortion, overblown and wrecked while sounding produced. A metal, garage stoner-drone with a sonic nod to Mudhoney this thundery low end growl and lyrics about dirt make perfect sense. When they get to the chorus it reverts back to a power punk sound, but with all the levels on the dials turned up it's still not plying very ice with others. Just as short as the A-Side working in knock down bursts to overwhelm and move on. NEXT!

On black vinyl with download code from the just barely one year old Negative Fun Records.

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