It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a release from VENUS GRRRLS. So you see I decided that I would review the next one come what may. Yeah, I know this isn’t risking anything but bloody hell is ‘Hex’ good.

So musically you know what you’re going to get – obviously a kick-arse track which it is. But there’s more to the sound of this than merely being kick-arse. There’s some raging keyboards from Grace for a start – maybe it’s just me but I kinda feel that the importance of the keyboards in VENUS GRRRLS’s songs is sometimes missed, there also some blazing guitar work – the track’s full of these oh so yummy guitar bits, here they’re blazing, there they’re kinda off kilter and witchy, and for me the other highlight is the drums – yep they’re going to batter you into submission but there’s space and texture. And no I haven’t forgotten the vocals, they leave me open mouthed and speechless. But then there’s the way that while the guitar is pulling off some blazing stuff the keyboards are doing witchy. The way this track is put together is so bloody good.

The whole is frankly scary; in a good way obviously. There’s a sense of menace, of strength of ‘don’t mess with us’ musically. And that’s before we get to the words. The song is about a personal experience.

Right here, right now I’m going to unashamedly quote the blurb

Using dark magic to bring the misdeeds of men to light, VENUS GRRRLS aren’t holding back. Drawing on a negative encounter the band shared together which became the catalyst for the song, ‘Hex’ unapologetically speaks out against the far too common experience of harassment. Whilst demanding the antagonist faces the consequences of his actions, the Grrrls seek to encourage victims of such incidents to reclaim their power and call out these harmful behaviours.

Hey, the blurb says it right, OK.

Vocalist GK says ‘Hex is an ode to womenkind, touching on the universal experience of harassment. In the landscape of Hex, there are consequences for such behaviour, and generates a reality where we take the power back for ourselves. We are scared, and we are frustrated with the tale as old as time; we all have a story when we shouldn’t.’

The thing is that, given the topic, there’s a possibility we could end up with something, and I hesitate to use these words, preachy and worthy. Instead the lyrics are powerful, full of drama and tell a story. They talk about the thoughts of the harassed woman, the power that women have and that they should use it. It’s real and personal; and that’s where the power comes from.

Now I’m sure that there are men who are saying to themselves in a glib response to the song ‘bloody hell, this is a group of women not to be messed with’. And to them I say shame on you, no women should be subject to this behaviour.

This is a song that’s going to make you think – whether you’re a woman or a man. It’s a message put in plain speech, this just must be stopped right now. Men must get that there are consequences, and women get that they have the power. Obviously this is my take, and I’m a man but I get that the song has a message for me – I am often afraid of calling other men out when I see it happening. I don’t mean barging in when the woman is obviously dealing with it herself but hey don’t walk away, hang around, be ready to do something if it gets really nasty. What I’n saying is be an ally, And you don’t have to be threatening, you can be subtle and clever. Just walking casually up, and talking directly to the woman say ‘hey, we’re over there, I’ll show you where’ so you can both walk away. It’s not easy, and you might be nervous, but it can work. If you’re in a bar or venue, just go and tell the staff.

So while your head is hearing the message and it’s triggering a great deal of real thinking, you can be raging to the track. That’s the special knack Venus Grrrls have, they make songs that make you think, and make you want to throw yourself around in a frankly disgraceful way. ‘Hex’ does that, it does that to the max. This, my friends, is a very special song indeed.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.