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The Howling Hex, ‘XI’ (Drag City)

Neil Michael Hagerty made his name beating the shit out of rock’n’roll conventions with Pussy Galore and Royal Trux, but lately, he’s been settling into the uncomplicated, clock-punching role of a bar-band frontman. Everything about XI, his latest with the Howling Hex, feels almost shockingly conventional, down to the older-dudes-rockin’-out collage in the CD package. That may be because Hagerty too often lets his bandmates lead the charge through guitar-and-sax blues-rock workouts (like “Live Wire” and “Save/Spend”) that never veer anywhere near weird enough.

Now Hear This: The Howling Hex – “Everybody’s Doing It” DOWNLOAD MP3