Hex Machine ‎– Omen Mas

Minimum Underdrive ‎– MU-6
Vinyl, LP

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August 11, 2011

"Richmond's Hex Machine have been playing since the mid-aughts, but they've only put out one album, 2009's Omen Mas (Minimum Underdrive)—which they've just released again in a fancy vinyl edition. It's strong enough to give the impression that the band sprang fully formed out of someone's forehead, or more likely out of a sweaty thigh like Dionysus. Their greasy, heavy, hot-oil-fried riffs sit somewhere on the line between stoner metal, the Melvins, and straight-up 90s grunge. (If you can pinpoint exactly where that line is, let me know.) Omen Mas sounds like it was recorded in a very small cave littered with trash and old bones, which is just the most obvious of the many cues that this is a band that's best in a live setting, preferably a dark one. The eight-plus minutes of "Godheads Full of Candy," a shotgun wedding of severe Shellac-style angularity with trippy Bauhausian ooga-booga, are alone worth the price of the album. I also really love the arpeggiated ooze of the doomy "Peristalsis Hilton"—it just sounds satisfyingly rotten, which is as good a description of the album as a whole as any. —Monica Kendrick (Chicago Reader) http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/hex-machine-rabid-rabbit-backs/Event?oid=4203192