released June 6, 2015
Austin Chronicle 07/2015
The most funereal album of 2015 comes crafted by a band walking a tightrope over the chasm connecting the Wipers and the Misfits since 2007. Ten tracks bristle with propulsive energy, grimy guitars, and enough melody and hooks to fuel an AM radio afternoon in 1965. Yet the mood is so drenched in dread it will send a depressive straight to his or her therapist in minutes flat. Much like Roky Erickson post-Rusk State mental hospital, Alex Cuervo's local quartet clearly equate the blue glow of black & white midnight TV creature screenings with whatever sick noise courses through their heads. "There must be a parallel/ Who stayed and lived to tell the tale," intones "Parallel," the first track. "Another me whose mother cried/ Another me who lied." Or, as the anthemic "Personality X-Ray" shouts, "That person is a time bomb/ That person is a nightmare factory." Hex Dispensers have clearly sussed out that the modern world is far more hellish than anything Dario Argento could lens.
NOISEY (USA) MAY 2015 When you’re a teenager you feel like a monster. Then you get older and you don’t feel that way unless you hate yourself/feel completely alienated from human society or, in some rare cases, you are an actual monster, like, with horns and scales and whatnot. The Hex Dispensers make music for both kinds of self-aware denizen of the night. The Hex Dispensers are a poppy dark punk outfit out of the Austin axis, where most good poppy dark punk spring from; tentacles wiggling like nobody’s business. I hesitate to try to describe The Hex Dispensers. Not because they are indescribable but because the obvious description (influenced by Ramones, horror, b-movies, Cthulhu and all the various liars and Manchurian Candidates in our midst) doesn’t do them justice. Most bands that sound like the Ramones are boring. Most bands influenced by horror and b-cinema, generic. Most bands that are influenced by Cthulhu just…aren’t. So why are Hex Dispensers one of my favorite rock and roll bands, a band whose music I return to again and again be it bar, van, or just headphones at night? I don’t know. Why is Rosemary’s Baby more than just goat-man slash fiction? Hex Dispensers have the charisma and sure hand of veteran Satanists, along with a sly humor and a simplicity that’s deceptive like, uh, Satan I guess. Anyway I truly believe that they are dealing in larger forces. Or they are just very good at bats releasing, dire wolf kissing Rock and Roll music. Theology after all is not my strong suit. Hex Dispensers have a new album, called III (just like the grandson of someone spooky!) and it has a song called “Agatha’s Antlers” that is totally not a metaphor but also is and it’s the most beautiful love song of 2015. The whole album is a slow burn stunner, like The Spits playing Carrie’s prom, and we at Noisey are delighted to be able to premier the stream of it in its entirety. The Hex Dispensers III comes out on Alien Snatch! Records on June 6th (ZL)
CVLT NATION (USA) MAY 2015 Austin, Texas horror garage punk institution HEX DISPENSERS will be releasing their third LP, aptly titled III, on June 6th, 2015 (the 9th anniversary of the very first Hex Dispensers rehearsal on 06/06/06, by the way). Below is an exclusive streaming track we’re excited to reveal, as well as an interview with Alex Cuervo, the vocalist, guitarist, and mastermind behind the power trio. III is a hook-laden, spooky rocker in the best tradition of bands like the Spits and the Marked Men, but unlike them, and in keeping with the tradition of Hex Dispensers’ previous two LPs, there is a decidedly dark and supernatural tone to the album. III is an all-out, raging, melodic, purist garage-punk beast of an album from the dark side. III will be released on Alien Snatch! Records from Berlin. LPs and CDs will be also available soon on the Hex Dispensers’ bandcamp page. Listen to the new, exclusive CVLT Nation track, “I Hope the Sun Explodes Today,” and read the interview below! The brainchild of horror movie aficionado Alex Cuervo, Austin’s Hex Dispensers have been going for one year shy of a decade now – a much longer time than a lot of folks realize. I’ve had the privilege of seeing them several times, and it’s always been a high energy, galvanizing, back to basics punk rock experience. Their first practice session was on the auspicious date of June 6, 2006 – 6-6-6 – and since then the group has cranked out one hook-saturated garage punk track after another. Their first LP’s cover art sported a Rosemary’s Baby-type baby carriage sprouting Lovecraftian tentacles, and that’s a pretty good indication of the band’s themes: all things haunted, paranormal, otherworldly, mysterious. III is a dark, garagey journey further into the Twilight Zone. While some tracks, like the arresting “One Less Ghost,” have an off-kilter and even sort of Twin Peaks-y feel (I can’t explain it other than that), more typical of III are anthemic rockers like “House of Secrets,” the kind of melodic punk that might have come about from stirring elements of the Misfits’ Static Age and the Spits’ first CD (2000) into a bubbling witches’ brew of classic American punk aggression. It’s the sort of anthemic punk that doesn’t deny the importance of catchy, pop hooks but rams those into your eardrums with a three chord punk attack. I asked Alex how he’s kept the well-liked band going all these years, about his fascination with horror movies, and where he thinks the Hex Dispensers’ music fits into the big scheme of all things punk. Read the interview here (OS)