Australian duo White Hex’s hit “Paradise” has piqued my curiosity so I listened to their 2012 release “Heat” and here is the review.
“Heat” is an ironic 6-track record. The music is , indeed, ice cold, and so is the sleeve: a picture of the duo, two dark silhouettes walking in the snow. It starts with the beautiful “Stranger Love”. I got captivated at once.
The eerie lethargic vocals reminded me of Zola Jesus, with a softer touch, like Molly Nilsson, and the guitar riffs prove that simple can be irresistible. Post-Punk with a hint of western movies soundtrack influence. I got drowned in this track’s dark atmosphere.
Then I got taken on a “Holiday” with the same kind of mood and similitude in melody. The rhythmic section sounds just flawless, I could really feel all the production work done. “Nothing comes” confirmed my first impressions: White Hex has a great ability to write and play music that really moves the listener. In “Desperate Heat” I could feel again the Western movies music influences. This track is pure dark Post-Punk performed to perfection. Classic. “Ice Cold” brings saturated guitars and a drum beat similar to those of the Cure‘s Pornography-era.
This first release of White Hex is neither New Wave nor Minimal Wave (don’t get mistaken by the band’s latest release or their Lebanon Hanover looks). Solemn eerie female vocals probably make it sound softer, but the music is dark, and cold, and it has a lot of saturated guitars and not much synth. And it is fucking good. For me, a real discovery, as I was expecting more classy New Wave (which is good too). Don’t miss “Heat” and enjoy. ► by Guillaume Renard