The Howling Hex Nightclub Version of the Eternal Drag City
If the Howling Hex's latest turned out like predecessors All-Night Fox and You Can't Beat Tomorrowi.e., yet another foray into dense, hyper-stuttering funk rockthen I was gonna bombard the band's blog with creepy-fan demands to drop the house-party shenanigans and create a rural jazz-rock masterpiece à la Eat a Peach. But luckily such action is not required, as guitarist and composer Neil Michael Hagertywho obviously rules this bandhas produced his best work since forming the Hex back in '03. I mean, sure, this 50-minute, seven-track set is still full-on funky, but it's far more dubby than Bootsy. With thick, tropical basslines anchoring the middle and Lyn Madison's rattling percussion playing the role of tribal-disco metronome, Hagerty and fellow axman Mike Saenz chant cryptic, quasi-political slogans and engage in nonstop, harmolodic soloing that lies somewhere between Greg Ginn and Peter Green. Now, I'm tempted to call this kickass jam "rock," but that might scare you.