HEX MAP are a Boston-based loud rock band, or at least that’s what the guys behind the band (or whoever runs their FB (so yeah, the guys in the band)) say about themselves on their FB. I’m not saying that I disagree with them. I’d be a fool to, as they certainly are a loud band working in the rock sector of the Boston area. Let’s just say that their self-descriptor simplifies their music a little bit. It’s always cool to play it cool. The band released RUIN VALUE a couple months back, their second full length recording and first in several years. Listening to the record I could believe that they have been working on this record for most of the lengthy interval between records, what with it’s lush sounds and layered tracks. That’s probably not true, but the recordings here sound good enough for it to be possible. What I recall about HEX MAP in the past starts with the letter P, and concludes with an ROG. On RUIN VALUE they seem to have dialed it back a bit, leaning on the rock a bit more, though certainly a fractured version of such. Industrial rhythms abound, psychedelia has crept further into their sound, and at times these guys get as noisy as anything you are likely to hear. The plod and thud of their rhythmic choices do a lot to ground some of the dizzying heights of loud and twisted reached here. Opening track “The Black River” bashes along out of the gate, a krauty gait melding to an industrial counter rhythm. Psychedelic vocals and strange synths get swept right down and into this whirlpool of a song. Things turn as melodic as they get on the whole record and then everything they’ve built gets washed away in a fit of noise. For a 6 minute song it sure goes by quickly. And while I generally frown on 6 minute opening tracks for albums, this one is perfect. It’s also my favorite track on this dense, and finely crafted 8 track record. These guys play around town fairly often, in fact they just played the Middle East Up but we’re a little late for that. Weird and loud.
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