There certainly is no shortage of punk bands these days, check out the Vans Warped tour line-up or head over to the Funhouse any night of the week if you don’t believe me. But when it come to punk bands that capture my imagination, sound tough, and still write a hook like they use to back in the day there aren’t that many. I’m talking bands like Agent Orange, Channel 3, Social Distortion, Husker Du, Wipers and of course the Clash and the Ramones, bands that transcended the label of punk rock incorporating other styles of music into their own.
Now don’t get the wrong idea here, the Hex Dispensers are not re-inventing the wheel or punk rock for that matter, but they are writing songs that are jaw-dropping punk rock anthems with an authenticity not seen since the days of the Wipers and Mission of Burma. Their new album, just released on the world by Douchemaster is 12 songs of raw, unadulterated, fist pumping rock n’ roll. Singer Alex Cuervo has a voice that immediately brings to mind Joey Ramone or Joe Strummer and brings an anthemic quality to the songs.
This is the Austin, Texas band’s second full length, but their first to be released in the US. Their first self-titled record was put out on Germany’s Alien Snatch records (who also put out last year’s excellent Love Boat record). That record had a great cover, but it was mere child’s play compared to Winchester Mystery House. On this new record, they come off as more cocky and confident, the sound rips from the speakers and the songs are just plain better. The highlight of record has to be My Doppleganger On, an anthem against conformity, but there are other songs that are nearly as blistering like O-B-I-T, It’s Your Funeral Minion and their cover of Devo’s Gates of Steel. That Devo song always begged to be turned into a full throttle anthem and the Hex Dispensers have finally done just that. Things move fast these days, it’s only taken two records and as many years for the Hex Dispensers to have become a juggernaut of punk power and prowess.