By Henry Gruel
With some of the tracks on their recent self-released Gloom Bloom (on Hex Haus, also the name of the band's collective living and recording space in, yeah, Indianapolis), they're a hair short of being yet another bombastic, high-faluten power-indie rock band grabbing for a slice of industry pie. Vocalist Jilly Weiss has a penchant for emo-phonic vocal screeching, and the whole band sounds comfortable gliding through carefully-compressed cock-flailing rock-outs (see the first half of “No FM/No AM”). But there's too much weird on Gloom Bloom for them to get away with being anything short of a swift crest in the new wave of heavy, indie rock tune-smiths following in the wake of bands like Pretty Girls Make Graves and to an extent, Blood Brothers. The awesome noise breakdown in “No FM/No AM” that ends the track is like a cleaned up bit of Confusion is Sex and the album's opening meditation “Sea Hound” sounds scratched off a dusty tape reel (maybe Grizzly Bear's if they sounded more into Smog and Boards of Canada). “Tired of White Nights” is Weiss doing Karen O circa “Maps” while the dissonant counter-parts (of trebly guitar stabs ribbing against agitated synth saw teeth) in “Stay Blue, Stay Baby Blue” are brash and exciting and grow into the best track on the album.
While it's not hard to hear why We Are Hex could be many a hometown's local heros, it's their studio chops on Gloom Bloom that could keep other towns from raising an eyebrow. It's not trendy to dress your carefully coiffed tunes in skills behind the board. At the moment they're dropping their album, the media they hope to attract salivates over cassette quality and amateur production instincts. Maybe once the lo-fi winds blow over people will see what they missed.