TRIPLE HEX – Triple Hex

Brooklyn’s Triple Hex have shared a stage with The Cramps.  They’ve shared a stage with The Gun Club’s Kid Congo Powers.  Their debut album is under-produced by Heavy Trash’s Matt Verta-Ray.  That, in essence, is all you need to know.  If you’re still reading, this garage rock three-piece could have a few numbers up their sleeve which appeal.

This debut full-length starts with with ‘JMZ’ – a reasonable garage/surf instrumental. The guitar twang overlaying the main riff of ‘JMZ’ is quite pleasing but the track is completely reliant on that to carry the whole piece.  It could have perhaps done with a little more embellishment. Following that, ‘Gotta Move’ is a predictable slice of garage rock.  The riffs are solid and Dave Attitudi’s vocals have the right amount of sneer, but even so, it’s the kind of thing you’ll have heard delivered much better from a Stooges record…  By the time the third number ‘Got a Girl’ kicks in, Triple Hex take turn things up a notch.  Featuring a dual vocal between Attitudi and drummer Julie Hex, there’s far more energy on show.  The main riff presents itself like the bastard child of The Cramps and The Stooges served up by Mudhoney.  A slightly lighter lead vocal provides the perfect accompaniment for the fuzzy garage tones and a sloppy guitar solo adds extra bite.

During The Velvet Underground inspired ‘365’, Triple Hex lapse mid paced workout which features heavy handed chords and a slurring vocal which drags a little.  It could be said it works quite well as homage to The Velvet Underground, but why settle for second best? If you like The Velvet Underground, chances are you aren’t likely to be swayed by imitation.  ‘Hazy Hot & Humid’ works its way around a well-worn blues riff coupled by a drum line which appears inconsistent at best.  A lead guitar struggles to find its space among the rhythm and ends up sounding ugly.  Julie Hex’s featured lead vocal (bordering on the tuneless) doesn’t help matters either.

‘Drivin’ features some cool staccato riffs, underpinned by swirling, organ noises courtesy of Triple Hex’s third member, Miss Chip.  The drum sound has a nice amount of live-in-the-studio reverb, while Dave’s vocal lead channels his inner Jon Spencer, but doesn’t quite have the edge.  The finished arrangement is augmented by a selection of backwards guitar noises, which add an extra quirk.  A similar mood provides the heart of ‘Coney Island Time’; thanks to a great garage riff (featuring some understated slide work, drowned out by the main guitar) and a straight up no-frills approach, it’s one of the album’s clear standouts. ‘Zebra Rug’ is a swaggering number which delivers a similar mood to Stray Cats‘ ‘Stray Cat Strut’, but instead of being sassy, it’s quite laboured. Dave’s drawling vocal and atonal guitar work have a certain charm in their deliberate ugliness – the featured solos make Greg Ginn sound like a blues master – but after a couple of plays, it loses its initial ramshackle cheekiness, and you have to wonder if the band were actually being serious.

Outdoing ‘Got a Girl’, ‘Alarm Clock Heart Attack’ captures Triple Hex in fantastic form.  The fuzzy guitars are spot on, Dave’s vocal sounds suitably spiteful, the pounding drum is in sync with the riffs, a while the riffs themselves deliver cool garage grooves by the bucketload.  Sounding like a mid-paced Cramps crossed with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in a particular earthy mood, Triple Hex prove that they can equal their peers when they want to… It’s just a shame they don’t seem to want to very often.

Compared to Triple Hex’s promising 2005 EP ‘Phantom Highway 13’, this full-length is somewhat of a disappointment.  It’s raw and occasionally edgy, with a few great tunes, but sadly, most of the time it doesn’t have the chops needed to make an indelible mark on the garage rock subgenre.  If raw, garage-based noises are your bag, take some advice: even though their music is more blues-rooted than some of the more raggedy stuff here, you’d be much better off checking out the debut by The Dead Exs instead…

May 2011


THE COMPUTERS – This Is The Computers

The Computers’ EP ‘You Can’t Hide…’ was a blistering seven song disc which firmly laid out the band’s intentions. It was raw. It was sweaty. Most importantly, it was impossible to be still while listening to it. This was the work of a band with a great promise.
Two years later, their debut full length album, ‘This Is The Computers’ really delivers on that early promise. From the off, the energy you loved about that EP still sits at the core of the Exeter band’s sound. It’s not a retread of old and completely familiar territory, however. The band has matured over the intervening years, leaving behind a few of their punkier tendencies; instead they bring more garage rock and punk ‘n’ roll influences into their sound than ever before. The album was recorded at the home studio of Rocket From The Crypt’s John “Speedo” Reis, which alone may have had a strong influence over the material’s overall sound. While the album was recorded live to tape over four days, it somehow manages to sound like it was recorded with a much bigger budget.

The first number ‘Where Do I Fit In?’ sounds a lot like The Computers of old, with the distinctive screamo vocals and the guitars buzzing at full pelt. In just over a minute, it’s over…and then, the real fun begins. Throughout ‘Lovers Lovers Lovers’, Sonny plays a guitar riff that’s a throwback to Rocket From The Crypt at their peak, which pitched against some great drumming from Aiden makes for superb listening throughout. ‘Rhythm Revue’ moves even further away from the band’s hardcore sound and into retro punk ‘n’ roll sounds than ever before. In just over two minutes, the band run through a great rock ‘n’ roll number – think Stray Cats meets The Cramps, turned up to eleven – without seemingly breaking a sweat. ‘Music Is Dead’ also offers some great punk ‘n’ roll thrills – all boogie rock riffs, rock ‘n’ roll solos and maximum attitude. This is far better than anything hinted at on that first EP. If this sound makes up the bulk of The Computers’ music on future releases, that certainly wouldn’t be a bad move.

‘I’ve Got What It Takes’ is an effective stomper, full of gang vocals and downtuned strings. In terms of choruses, those gang vocals make this one of the album’s most catchy. The real star here, however, is Aiden, whose measured drumming really lays down a superb foundation with its relative simplicity. ‘Yeah Yeah But…’ revisits a few tried and tested ideas, with its hard drumming and harder vocal style being reminiscent of the band’s ‘Teenage Tourette’s Camp’. Here, though, the arrangements feel a little less slapdash, with a dual vocal adding an excellent extra dimension. ‘The Queen In 3D’ explores garage blues territory, with the band moodily stomping across two minutes with a swaggering riff and enjoyable blues-rock guitar leads. It’s still easily recognizable as being The Computers, though, since Alex is out front and centre, delivering a vocal about as loud as he can muster.

‘Hat Damocles’ slows things down to an intimidating chug, over which Alex screams intensely: “this could really be the moment of your reckoning” over a slow pounding drum line. As the track progresses, things don’t lighten up. The guitars alternate between a menacing riff and furious jangle. When the band toyed with similar grinding riffs on a couple of their EP tracks it didn’t always sit right. This time around they nail it, and just crank up the intensity enough to be threatening without ever becoming dreary. What are the chances of the next album being a Black Flag ‘My War’-esque pummelling of the senses?

‘This Is The Computers’ is a fantastic release. It’s only just of full-length duration (11 songs, 25 minutes), but it needn’t be any longer. The band arrives, tears it up and then leaves, knowing this was a job well done. In punk/garage rock terms, there’s precious little better than being able to leave your audience pumped up and wanting more. The Computers have that sussed…and then some.

September 2011

Coal Chamber to reform for live shows

Nu-metal heroes Coal Chamber are to reform for live shows in 2012.

The band are reforming in order to play at next year’s Soundwave Festival in Australia.

In their lifetime as an active band, Coal Chamber never visited Australia. Frontman Dez Fafara says: “These reunion shows are for the fans that want to see us again as well as all the people that never got to see Coal Chamber. It is and always will be a very special part of my life, so these few shows are for those people and for us. If you’re not from Australia, better get a ticket now to come see this event!”

There are currently no plans to play live shows anywhere in the northern hemisphere.

Coal Chamber broke up in 2003. After the split, Fafara formed metal band DevilDriver. Second bassist Nadja Peulen is currently working on material with her band Vera Mesmer.

Ryan Adams adds extra UK date

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has extended his run of UK shows in support of his thirteenth full-length album ‘Ashes & Fire’.

The alt-country artist previously confirmed shows at London’s Union Chapel (October 27th) and the Grand Opera House, York (Octobr 28th).

Fans can now catch Adams at a third UK date when he appears at Cadogan Hall in London on November 1st.

‘Ashes & Fire’ is released via PAX-AM Records on October 10th, but the prolific songwriter may have written a new album’s worth of material by the time he arrives in the UK at the end of the month…

Aerosmith album to be released in March

According to an interview with frontman Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s next album could be released as soon as March. Original reports suggested a May release, but Tyler hopes the album will be completed sooner.

The band began work on the yet-to-be-titled record in July with legendary producer Jack Douglas, the man who twiddled the knobs on the band’s classic 70s records ‘Toys In The Attic’, ‘Rocks’ and more.

Tyler says the new album will be “raw, nasty, tough rock with a good deal of the old Aerosmith’ tongue in cheek.'”

At the time of writing, no official track titles have been revealed.