Missile Crisis, the debut EP from Bolton four-piece Cuban Hexe, is a mish-mash of upbeat guitar riffs and murky basslines: imagine T-Rex’s ‘Get It On’ meets Arctic Monkeys.
Opening track ‘Secrets’ sets the tone for the EP, with an energetic riff and vocals which almost turn into spoken word at points. The concepts are pretty well-trodden: “I am hers, but she’s not mine” is the refrain of the opener, and the same idea is echoed in ‘Unreachable Girl’. By the end of the second song, the similarity between the songs’ main riffs becomes apparent, and this gives the EP a bit of a rough start.
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Where it really kicks off is the third track, named ‘Four’ for some obscure reason. This song is the point at which the glam rock influence becomes more prominent; the slick chords are highly reminiscent of early 70s T-Rex or Mud, and has a tension that reflects the EP’s title. It ends on a high: closing track ‘Blackwater Canal’ is definitely the stand-out. Continuing the classic rock sound, the song has a blues swing that made me double-check whether I was really listening to a record from 2014. It culminates with Alex Sharples’ electrifying scream of ‘it’s called Blackwater Canal’ – it’s the best moment of the EP, and something you imagine would sound brilliant live.
As a whole, Missile Crisis shows Cuban Hexe to be really promising – especially its second half. Amidst an abundance of unsigned indie pop artists, the band takes a more straight-up rock approach, and it’s refreshing. You can buy the EP on bandcamp, or check them out on Facebook.
Words by Priya Bryant