Review by Tony Rounce

Last time I reviewed something for LOUD WOMEN, I commented on how pleasing it was to see singers and bands still putting out physical product at a time when outlets for selling their wares are minimal at best.  To those I name-checked then [the lovely Bugeye – Ed] I would now also like to add Leicester’s Harri Bettsworth, who chooses to pursue a musical career as Hex Poseur, and the rather splendid vinyl 45 ‘Quiet’ that has just put itself into pole position for this week’s actual real-life single of the week.

Those of you who know your Bandcamp will know that ‘Quiet’ and its vinyl coupling ‘Overdrive’ were released digitally a few weeks back as “Keep It Quiet Vol. 1”, alongside a “Vol. 2” that remains download only at the moment (but not forever, one hopes).

‘Quiet’ is rightly the topside of the physical 45, its condemnation of archaic – but sadly not yet extinct – negative and, sadly, mostly male attitudes (“Look Pretty And Be Quiet”) being the central theme of its quietly presented verses, each of which builds in an increasingly angry manner towards a hulking great chainsaw guitar-powered, recurring chorus that rams the important message of the verses home in no small way, just in case you hadn’t gotten with the program by the time it arrives.

On the other side, ‘Overdrive’ is pure punk thrash of the highest order, and so punky in fact that you may wonder why Hex Poseur omitted an opening ‘1-2-3-4’ – angry, no-holds-barred, full throttle stuff that is so intense that Bettsworth and the other musicians have to take their collective foot of the gas pedal half way through to allow us (and them) to catch their breath.  Easy listening it’s not – easy to listen to it is.  The song’s message is slightly lost amid the barrage of sound, but there is no missing or overlooking the underlying rage in Bettsworth’s melodic ranting here.

The 45’s accompanying press release offers comparisons to Elastica and Slaves that are not misplaced. To those I would like to add the Cranberries and 4 Non-Blondes, not so much for the voices as for the execution of the repertoire.

All things considered Hex Poseur’s debut 45 is a very strong statement of musical intent, and one that bodes very well for what might be coming up next.  I’ve added Bettsworth (and chums) to the ‘priority’ portion of my ever-lengthening list of musicians I want to investigate further, should any of us ever find ourselves in a position to see anybody live again. I have a feeling that the substantial appeal of ‘Quiet’ may inspire others among us to do likewise.

‘Quiet’ is out now physically on Punk Fox Records, and is available both to buy and/or download from Hex Poseur’s Bandcamp page.  

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