Words: James Frostick
Image: Jamie Wdziekonski
Coinciding with an incredible showing and response at their mini-fest HEXFEST, incandescent Melbourne-based quartet HEXDEBT have announced that a new album is approaching on the horizon. The first taste of the record is ‘Covenant’, a brilliant and searing example of HEXDEBT’s near-unmatched intensity and barely contained fury.
HEXDEBT are beyond dismayed. How long can one yell and kick up a fuss about Australia’s pitiful humanitarian track record without getting a result? Any vocal opponent of Australia’s social and ethical shortcomings must shout themselves hoarse before action is achieved, and with a sound like theirs, HEXDEBT are running their vocal chords ragged on a nightly basis. Despite their disappointment, the fires of protest continue to burn hot within them, and if perpetually railing against injustice via punk-fuelled expression moves the dial of equality even a minuscule amount then HEXDEBT’s cries will be leading the choir. Such is the contract that binds them creatively – an agreement to be endlessly vocal and to capture ears with their squalling riffs and relentless drums. The band’s latest single ‘Covenant’ is another clarion call, pointing out ineffectual governance, displacement of Indigenous populations and indifference by those in power.
“Speak your truth with no conviction / underneath misguided jurisdiction / the terms and the conditions …”
In less than three minutes the band makes its rage known, buoyed by a serrated post-punk-tinged sonic palette that, if it were tangible, would be hot to the touch. All four members of HEXDEBT are firing on all cylinders, but anyone that has had the pleasure of seeing the band live already know that the group never operates at a gear less than ‘full-throttle’. In ‘Covenant’, HEXDEBT are calling for change, reparations, and ownership of fault. They want past injustices to be acknowledged, for the only way to move forward harmoniously is by earnestly working to fix mistakes of the past.
“Recognise what was left behind, not just to justify – it must be reconciled”
HEXDEBT’s forthcoming album will be released in March 2019 through Poison City Records.