The title reflects the fact that what was once a four-piece is now six-strong with the welcome addition of keyboards and drums/percussion in the form of Paul Martin and DC Macmillan. And running with its hexagonal theme, Hex, we are told, is a reflection of the six distinct musical influences that each band member brings to the party.
This is all well and good, but more importantly, an expanding Hò-rò hasn’t resulted in a dilution to the punch of their material ─ on the contrary, there is now an additional heft and complexity evident in the lower registers. In fact, it is that very diversity that produces its cohesive sound so rich in musical texture.
The sparkling runs of accordion wizard Calum MacPhail, together with the forceful pipes of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig student Crisdean Macdonald and fellow student Lucy Doogan’s sinuous fiddle, continue to weave their magic. And the wide range of Hex’s self-penned and arranged material will be sure to find favour on dance floors near and far.
Sean Cousins’ imaginatively dynamic guitar lines permeate Hex to wonderful effect. Album highlights include Kate Rusby’s Walk The Road and Damien O’Kane’s lament on alcoholism, Raven’s Wing; but my personal favourite is Muinntir Mo Ghràidh – performed in Gaelic by Lucy Doogan and written by her distant relative, Sandy Rankin.
This is an album that deserves your attention. And when you listen to it – as you surely will – ask yourself if you can’t hear a little hint of early period Capercaillie; which is surely no bad thing.
AudioCelt Star Rating 4½ out of 5