BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream, Music

Labor Hex – Nothing Is Real


Boston based quartet Labor Hex recently released Nothing Is Real, a ferocious EP that perfectly encompasses the energy of their high octane live performances. I was amazed by the aggression and power of this EP that still retains a perfectly balanced blend of dissonance and melodic aspects in every song. My best comparison would be a melodic hardcore version of Hot Water Music, but that is still not giving Labor Hex enough credit. At first listen you can instantly tell every aspect was very specifically and methodically thought out. There was time and passion put into the entire writing and recording process.

The thunderous drums played by Chris Bevilacqua on the opening track “The Twist” I can only equate to getting hit by a sonic freight train. This is paired with what I think is one of the catchiest guitar riffs on the EP. The Second track “Hollywood High” opens up with a gut rattling bass intro from Greg Weeks that explodes into a frantic yet melodic frenzy. This song carries an extremely passionate and genuine vocal performance by Evan Kenney. “A.N.T.H.E.M.” the third track and my personal favorite, opens with a dark yet entrancing blast of energy and swirling guitar from Mike Gowell. This then shifts into complete sonic mayhem but is harnessed by a catchy chorus grounding the listener before being thrown back into intricate guitar chaos. Up next “Last Kids”, a powerful song with what I would describe as many sonic “mood changes”. This is one of those songs that really shows how much thought and time was put into the recording as well as the mixing process. A perfect example of this as the tasteful use of the vibraslap almost missed at first listen. This is a prime example of how fantastic Nothing Is Real really is. Labor Hex has given us all these wonderful nuances that might go unnoticed at first among all the beautiful chaos. “XXX”, the second to last song has a slightly sludgy and darker undertone overall. This song is another wonderful display of everyone’s instrumental capabilities. Pounding drums and bass that punches you in the chest, hold the rhythm down. This is coupled with many dissonant and changing guitar parts rounded off with a searing solo towards the end. Another powerful vocal performance is delivered with what I consider to be some of, if not, the best lyrics on the EP. Labor Hex wraps up Nothing Is Real with “Singles”, a massive tune up to the task of closing out this release. This song has larger feel to it in general. It carries the same aggression and energy you would expect from Labor Hex but it feels bigger overall. Evan’s vocal performance really ties this song together and wraps this whole release up nicely, like the end of movie worth everyone seeing.

Labor Hex really nailed every aspect of this release, showcasing musical talent and ability while keeping the songs themselves alive and not just “showing off” their talents. This is combined with creating a fast aggressive EP, without being derivative of any of their contemporaries in similar genres. They have carved a path of their own and I am excited to see what comes next.

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