Hux & the Hitmen is a four-piece band from Boston comprised of Huxley Rittman (guitar/vocals), Avery Lazes (bass), Ella Pearson (keys) and Grant Dickerson (drums) that recently released Soggy Oxygen. The band has been described as “rough, tough pop.” I guess the first thoughts I had did not go in that direction. Their music didn’t seem all that rough or tough. In fact it felt quite warm, empathetic and endearing. A band like The Shins came to mind. I loved this EP for myriad reasons. It’s catchy and fun, yet heartfelt and sincere.
The good times start to roll with “Go Figure” which is a bit slick and subdued. If there’s one song that felt a little “tough” it’s this one. There’s a badass vibe going on with the steady bass and drums while the gnarly lead guitar shreds. What a great opener.
The next song however “Goodnight” is like a gorgeous lament that I felt could have been about suicide or shutting yourself off from the world. There were some lyrics that had me on the verge of tears. On top of that Rittman’s vocal performance just hits the perfect inflection.
“Sherry” brings up the mood with a more formidable rhythm section. That being said the melancholy is still apparent and works quite well. You can hear shades of bands like The Shins and Vampire Weekend on this song. The song also rocks really hard at points.
“Stay With Me” was a super catchy pop/rock song that is undeniably infectious. This song is perhaps the most single worthy. The band also has some success with shoegaze/dream pop inspired “Can't Talk to Anyone” while “Spooks” is a formidable rocker that goes out on somewhat of a positive message, depending how you look at it.
With the ongoing decline in indie rock bands and the continual rise of producers which a lot of outlets seems to push these days I find a release like this very refreshing. This album really has a lot of what I look for. Great lyrics which aren’t overly abstract and easy to relate to. Melodies that grab you and a recording quality that fit the flavor of the music. Take a listen.
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