Album – Kiss the Monster – P. Hux

Posted by admin on May 13th, 2008

I may have shuffled around this mortal coil for 2 score years and nought, but it didn’t stop the wave of adolescence wash over me, when I first saw the name P. Hux, because the first thing my mind did, was put it together and say it phonetically. What can I say, maybe I should tell you about my childhood someday. Anyway the P in P. Hux, is actually Parthenon, not a name you come across everyday, but certainly one you’ll not forget in a hurry, which can also be said about the artist, whose track record is suitably impressive. He’s had a recording career that’s spanned nearly 30 years. His first recording earned critical acclaim, as have many of his subsequent releases. He has also been a member of ELO II, which makes a lot of sense, when you hear his sound.

The 11 tracks featured on this album, are sheer power pop at their finest. Indeed one of his first reviews commented “You could land a marlin with these hooks!”, and nearly 30 years later, not a lot has changed. This is finely crafted pop, that is instantly accessible. Although I’d seen the name P. Hux mentioned on various websites and indeed had received a couple of emails mentioning the name in passing, but it wasn’t until I listened to a special Coverville podcast episode, that I actually got the chance to listen to the music and was instantly hooked.

“Kiss the Monster”, the latest album, features 11 tracks, all of them prime examples of what makes an excellent power pop track. The first track is “Perfect” which when I first heard the vocals, reminded me of Gerry Rafferty, who had a big hit in the 70’s with “Baker Street” and was also a member of Steelers Wheel, who’s song “Stuck in the Middle” was a track featuring prominently in the movie Reservoir dogs. Anyway I digress. The track opens and apart from the aforementioned vocals, there are some very interesting, almost Roger McGuinn / Byrd’s jangly guitars, which are just wonderful. “Yet to Say” is a track that hides behind and interesting, fairly mild intro and then bursts forth into an amazing track, which you can’t help but move to.

There’s something oh so familiar with both “Wear My Ring” and “Bones”, which I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m sure it’s their similarity with a couple of other more popular tunes, but I can neither think of the track nor artists, not that it matters a jot, they are still great songs, although a little more mellow and relaxed.

“Come Clean” is another great track, which unfortunately blemishes an otherwise brilliant album. The reason for this is the occasional F bomb used here and there. Not that I’m a prude, I love Radiohead’s, album version of “Creep”, but it’s very in keeping with the album, here it just didn’t feel right, in the midst of the other tracks. Of the remaining 6 tracks, the one that really excited me was P. Hux’s version of The Beatles’ “Looking Through You”. I’m a huge Beatles fan and always approach covers with a sense of excitement and apprehension. From the guitar opening, it’s all there, great music and vocals.

The final two tracks on the album, take things down a few notches. “Just Might Fly” has a really nice lyrical flow and indeed could have easily ended the album. It is however “Everything’s Different Now” which closes the proceedings. A real look into the void kind of track, which really appeals to the darker side of my musical tastes.

It’s funny that many times with albums, the title track is the strongest, or so I hope, track on the album. With an album name like Kiss the Monster, I was really looking forward to hearing a title track, but alas it never materialised. Probably me just being silly, but I can just imagine “Kiss the Monster” as a real raucous, rousing powerpop smash.

Conclusion : If there were a text book, to detail what makes a powerpop tour de force, this would certainly feature heavily as reference material. A terrific collection of some of the finest powerpop I’ve heard in a long time.

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