Released 1994 on Caroline
Reviewed by Graveyard Poet, 14/02/2012ce
It is a melancholy and wintry song cycle which is deeply textured and cinematic. It's for those lonely moments in the middle of the night.
Hex opens with plangent piano and hovering strings, a cosmic waiting, the sound of snow falling, in "The Loom". There's a late night noirish neon glow in "A Street Scene" and "Big Shot" which are embellished with narcotic, chilled vibraphones. "Eyes & Smiles" is a stunning climax of icy guitar and glistening brass section where the anguished, moody vocals and lyrics climb to an evocative and haunting peak as Graham Sutton repeats:
"One step further back...."
"And you've gotta go home!"
It appears the album is over.
In a strikingly subtle way, Hex saves its definitive moment for last. "Pendulum Man" is the quintessential winter track--meditative and ethereal. It is a nearly 10 minute long instrumental of trance-inducing vastness. The guitar's metronomic tone resembles a pendulum swinging, the clock ticking, the minutes and hours of the overcast day gliding and passing away in time lapse. Around the 4-minute mark, there is a breakthrough in the drifting clouds--silver blue glow surrounds as lush organ and electronics seep into the soundscape. A stark and echoing guitar cascades ever so slowly while the piano from the beginning returns for a faltering end, sad and sighing notes. The organ drone fades into the distance.