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Neil Michael Hagerty And The Howling Hex - Denver

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 30 / 5 / 2016

Neil Michael Hagerty And The Howling Hex - Denver
Label: Drag City
Format: CD


Enjoyable but formulaic and repetitive garage rock on latest album from Chicago-based vocalist and guitarist Neil Michael Hagerty and his backing band the Howling Hex

Seasoned like The Fall (the musicians without the marquis), Chicago veteran Neil Michael Hagerty has a similar buzz. Roll on, roll off raunchy rock and roll is his mark of trade. The cassette edition features the 'Denver: Approved for Indica Mix', which is different from the LP mix. Bluesy punk and avant garde honky tonk both ramble along in the guise of garage rock on 'Denver'. It is tiresome but tireless yet at other times terrific. Refusing to be a shambles and militant in its style all the way, 'Denver' hints at how Hagerty's song-writing pen may be running dry. Riffs, guitar licks and hammering hooks save a few flat songs on 'Denver', such as, for example, 'Random Friends' which works brilliantly. 'Canyon', a track with deep twang marks, is another highlight. With a jigging guitar snare, 'Mountain' continues in the same mould and the needed slower pace only arrives on 'Lookout' - the first track without the Howling Hex's dominant, hefty sound. Yet still, 'Denver' almost explodes with slow-mo post-punk. The Howling Hex should never give up. But their next LP should be called either 'Hawaii' or 'Cuba'. They are in need of fresh air.

Track Listing:-
1 City Song
2 Colfax West
3 Random Friends
4 Canyon
5 Mountain
6 Time Gives
7 Lookout
8 Guided Missiles
9 300 Days of Sunshine

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