Hex

Review of the EP… ‘Welcome To The Show’.

Hex are a hot topic at the moment, hailing from the leafy county of Cheshire, these guys are starting to turn heads. Hex are made up of the following band members, Sam Stoddard – guitars and vox, Jamie Critchlow – guitars and vocals, Carl Whitt – bass and vocals and Korrey Williams – drums, percussion and vocals.

Hex - 'Welcome To The Show'

 The band were initially launched in 2011 and have gone from strength to strength there after. Hex have played support for big acts such a PEACE, Blue Origin, Son Of Shinobi and Velvet Star, recently these guys have won a competition to have one of their tracks used as the title track for an American movie, which was judged by non other than Judas Priest and Skid Row. With such high accolades so far, it would be rude not to listen to their first EP ‘Welcome To The Show’, which was released in February 2013. This six track EP is good value for money and can be found over on their Band Camp Site in full and download specific tracks, if you prefer.

The artwork on the cover is cool, with a female figure dancing in the flames, but her head has been replaced with that of a Jaguar’s and coincides nicely with track No.4’s title – ‘Jaguar’.

‘Welcome To The Show’ is the opening track on the EP and as the title suggests, this track starts extravagantly, and builds the momentum for the rest of the EP. This track has got that very early Aerosmith feel to it and at around 2 mins 20 seconds in, there is also a great AC/DC pause and build up, which lets loose an awesome guitar solo that brings the track to it’s end, on a high.

As the feet march you into track number 2 ‘Rat Race’, the opening guitar riff is very Wolf Mother, with a really deep bass line running from the start to the first chorus, which builds into a hands high rock ballad. Pause, the bass kicks back in to allow the track to build once more, as this repeats throughout the song, I feel this track is a real roller coaster ride, finishing off with another great guitar solo.

‘Whiskey and Smokes’ starts rocking, with the high hats tsh tsh tshing away, Korrey on percussion does well to build the suspense to start off the track. When the vocals kick in, I can hear “Let Me Entertain You”, by Robbie Williams, so I sit back and enjoy the show, as the lyrics suggest. Again, the track ends in a blaze of glory and I’m starting to see a pattern in the the tracks structure, which is starting to feel more predictable.

‘Jaguar’ is an aptly named track and puts a picture in mind of a sexy cat headed woman prowling through the jungle, not an unpleasant picture either I would say and one that captures the essence of the smooth momentum of this track.

‘Way Back Home’ is the penultimate track of this EP and is the jewel in the crown. With great lyrics, theme and melody running through it’s entirety, it breaks away from the others in both structure and quality and I happily cranked the volume up for this one – even after playing it twenty times! Certainly a track worthy of an American feature film, albeit I am basing this opinion on it’s quality rather than knowledge, and with the ability to write and play a song such as this, I could quite happily see Hex fitting in well on a tour with the likes of either the Stereophonics or the Sound Of Guns.

The final track is ‘Vanity’ and brings a more bluesy sound to the EP. Once again, that structure is there, with the track momentum building up, great lyrics throughout and the big guitar solo at the end, and is an epic choice to bring this EP to an end.

Hex, as the name suggest, are a band that can put a spell on you, not a curse, as their music is catchy, full of flavour and draws from many influences, which when fused together, make them a pretty potent and powerful magical potion.

Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Lightfire

EP Review…. ‘Run Aground’.

I’ve been lucky enough to catch Lightfire live on several occassions over the past twelve months and with each and every gig that I’ve seen, these guys have always delivered a performance so loaded with energy that they simply draw you in and run away with ya! Unfortunately for them, having made such an impression live, means that I have an expectation for an equally high standard in their recorded material to match, so no pressure there for these guys then!

Their three track EP ‘Run Aground’ first hit the airwaves in February of this year and from the first few opening bars, the decadent guitar licks and pounding drum beats of ‘Ignorance’ were sheer bliss to these little ‘ole ears of mine. Trying to sit still whilst listening to this song is about as easy as not chewing a fruit pastille – you simply can’t do it! Second track of the EP ‘The System’ leads you straight on down that same path, being fast and enduring in it’s purpose and attitude, and once again, Lightfire have given us another mighty fine song that powers on from start to finish and succeeds in sweetly capturing the true worth of the band.

I have to say, I was expecting the third and final track ‘Time’ to continue in a similar vein, but instead I was met with a simple, yet stunningly beautiful, guitar melody that twisted and weaved into a dream like musical abyss and venturing into a style I’ve not heard from these guys before. Vocal maestro Scott Sieradski, tells the story with an equally emotive mindset and the whole experience and suprise of this song was a total show stopper for me.

Listening to this EP was an absolute pleasure and only served to raise the respect I have for this band and the great talent they possess, so I can highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of this little gem!

Review by Sue Wardle