The artwork for Filligar's new album 'Hexagon' features a fairly futuristic looking white cube sitting in a computer generated desert. The music that Filligar create is, it's fair to say, almost completely at odds with their minimalist, tech savvy artwork, taking influences as it does from the more traditional sounds of folk and blues.
First impressions of the artwork aside, Filligar's music is a mixture of rock, indie-flavoured with a heavy dose of Americana. You get 'New Local', which locks in the anthemic, Springsteen-informed formula and adds in a squealing horn section. You get the honkytonk bounce of 'Knock Yourself Out' and the almost gospel strains of 'Lock and Key'.
There is plenty to like on 'Hexagon', but also plenty of moments where it does not quite come off as you might hope. The aforementioned 'Lock and Key' outstays its welcome a little before bursting into an almost Queens of the Stone Age style guitar wig out, and 'Culture Bleach' and 'Pacific Time' are just a little too close to run of the mill, standard blues rock to really offer anything exciting or new. In places, the mix is a little on the muffled side, so the instruments do not get a chance to really breathe and sing out.
Where Filligar really get it right seems to be in the places where they stray furthest away from the well-trodden, folky, blues rock template. This happens notably during the quiet and interesting 'Ozona' and 'Great Big Heavy' where the musicianship on the keyboards are an absolute delight and clear highlights of this record. Perhaps the absolute highlight of the album is 'Atlas', on which the interplay between the keys and guitar is simply stunning.
When the songs on 'Hexagon' work, Filligar are a band firing on all cylinders, up there with the best in their genre. There are a few too many instances on show here, however, when it does not quite connect and the songs all seem to blend into each other. What is clear, though, is that Filligar are a band with talent, who are capable of great things.
Official Site -