"Fleshed Out"
(Halfshell Records)

Wow! This tape starts out with a powerful, if regrettably short track titled "Sacred Plush." Owing as much to Devo as surf/punk, Casual Hex knows how to get your attention. It doesn't let up when they leap into the second track "Futuristic Hieroglyphics" either. Only on "Dry Spell" do you get a chance to breathe. OK, there's some B-52's influence as well but it really isn't apparent until you get a fair ways into this tape.

But wait a second, it all slows down and dare I say this bunch tinkers metal? Each track is different enough to display a unique side to this group, but there's enough singularity to bind it all together. I don't know that I've ever heard anything like this, which, for someone to listens to a lot of tapes, is quite nice.

Not much in the way of revealing information here. The tape was recorded, mixed and mastered by one Ian Curtis Crist in Seattle but beyond that there is no clue who they are or where they're from. The program is all on one side and repeats on side two. The tape is standard issue plastic case with J-card.

Casual Hex is engaging. I wouldn't be shocked if these guys end up on a major label.

-- Bob Zilli