King Tuff, Hex Dispensers | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

King Tuff, Hex Dispensers Free Soundboard

When: Thu., Jan. 27, 10 p.m. 2011

KING TUFF, HEX DISPENSERS Kyle Thomas, Vermont's leading underground visionary, has put in time with freak-folky outfit Feathers and stoner-metal band Witch (which also counts J. Mascis among its members). But he's at his best when working under the nom de rock KING TUFF. His 2008 album Was Dead (Colonel) generally gets filed under "garage rock," which makes some sense given its fuzzy fidelity and Thomas's slack-motherfucker persona. But the album's rooted less in three-chord stomp and more in the Dexedrine bubblegum of vintage glam and power pop—the hooks are plentiful and clever, and the lyrics focus on girls, telephones, drugs, and girls.

The four members of Austin's HEX DISPENSERS have played in about 40 bands that you probably haven't heard of unless you lurk obscure garage-rock message boards and/or spend a lot of time in their hometown. Given how divided their attention must be, it makes sense that their 2009 album, Winchester Mystery House (Douchemaster), doesn't sound all that thought-out. That's not a knock, though—the way it kicks and churns sounds impressively off-the-rails, and its menacing vibe brings to mind the Misfits and the darker moments of the Murder City Devils.

Miles Raymer

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