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Album Review: Hex Machines by False Flags

Coming out of the embers of the Leeds DIY metal/hardcore scene, False Flags have released their debut mini album, Hex Machine. To many that DIY Leeds scene of 2005 to 2010 was one of the strongest and most vibrant in the UK, it saw the likes of Humanfly, Chickenhawk, Whores Whores Whores, Narcosis, Year of the Man, The Plight, Red Stars Parade, Bilge Pump, Gentleman’s Pistols and Send More Paramedics playing week in, week out alongside regular visitors to the city such as Bossk, Taint and Manatees.

As that scene died, it has given birth to whole new ream of exciting heavy music from Yorkshire. With Hex Machine, False Flags prove themselves to be one to be very excited about. Visceral and commanding throughout, the six tracks each deliver a crushing blow that enthrals and make you want to throw yourself around the room.

‘Earl Black’ opens with some crushing riffs and real menace, setting the scene perfectly it gives you an early sense that you could be listening to something quite special. If you were in any doubt about that, it’s solidified with the brilliant ‘Last Screen Goddess’. On the second track you get to appreciate the musical poweress of False Flags a little more. There’s a more refined aggression to the track and is home to some excellent hardcore style guitar riffs. With ‘Fate (Has A Driver)’ the aggression is palpable through both the vocals and the riffs, as the track explodes just before the three minute mark you’d be hard pushed not to throw caution to the wind and throw some shapes.

It’s not just run of the mill hardcore either, the riffs are infectious and you can sense some of the influences of the members former bands, Red Stars Parade, Whores x 3 and Year of the Man come to fore. ‘Pet Wolf’ delivers a short and immediate punch to face; the crushing riffs pummel you while coming in the right side of enjoyable. ‘Namedropper’ is perhaps the best track on Hex Machines, while the vocal definitely retains its hardcore element, there’s a more refined and cultured heavy hardcore sound to the music. The riffs are drawn out and throb, lulling you into a false sense of security. ‘Phone My Wallet’ delivers a stunning final blow to the album; again it’s commanding and visceral. The blasting drum beats and discordant riffs are a particular highlight.

With Hex Machine,  False Flags make a loud and clear announcement that they’re going to be ones to watch in 2016 and the remainder of 2015. Top notch stuff.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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