The Howling Hex :: The Best Of The Howling Hex

howling hexWith little fanfare, Neil Michael Hagerty moved to Denver early last year, and began playing out at various Mile High City clubs with a drummer and bassist in tow. While I’ve only kept limited tabs on Hagerty’s post-Royal Trux activities, I was definitely curious to see what the guy was up to. And it was pretty weird. As his rhythm section laid down mind-numbingly repetitive Norteî±o beats, Hagerty chanted well-nigh indecipherable lyrics — something about farolitos? — interrupted by splatters of diamond-sharp fuzz guitar solos. “The Howling Hex, ladies and gentlemen!” he’d exclaim, carnival-barker-style, at the end of each tune. At the end of that first gig, I wasn’t sure if I liked what I’d heard, but goddamn if it wasn’t interesting.

Interesting enough that I caught the Hex a few more times over the next few months, including several shows during a June residency at the Lost Lake, a Colfax Ave. dive. By then, I was under the spell, those jerky Norteî±o rhythms becoming as hypnotic as a vintage motorik groove, Hagerty’s madcap guitar work growing wilder and wilder. The Best Of The Howling Hex — not a greatest hits, mind you, but new recordings — captures the idiosyncratic energy of those shows perfectly, fleshing out the minimal sound only slightly. It’s a record that exists a fair ways away from any musical universe I can think of, but it’s worth the trip. words/ t wilcox

MP3: The Howling Hex :: Highlights

2 thoughts on “The Howling Hex :: The Best Of The Howling Hex

  1. Their 2005 album ‘You Can’t Beat Tomorrow’ is one of my favorites of all time. Excited to pick this up. And move to Denver…

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