The one-sheet for Hex Map's debut consists of a vague numeral code and an infograph of angular, multi-colored lines connecting to overlapping circles that match songs with their amalgamations of spiritual antecedents — "The Melvins," "Ho-Ag," "Nine Inch Nails," and "A Sad Man in His Bedroom," to name a few. I can't decide how to feel about this infograph. Impressed? Offended? Afraid? I anticipate experiencing similar emotions, albeit on a grander scale, while traversing the desolate, crumbling remnants of society after we survive the imminent apocalypse. And indeed, life in the End of Days' wake is the focus of several Cryptidography
tracks. Hex Map also sing about cryptozoology, the study of mythical or non-existent animals. On the skulking and sinister "Hokkaido Wolf," that would be an extinct Japanese wild canine; on "Zeuglodon," it's a giant, be-tentacled, mass-murdering bat. But if these weighty overtones sound a bit much, don't panic. Mike Gintz and Nick Burgess, at one time known as Clawjob, have recorded a counterintuitively accessible and magically schizoid record. Ripping, macabre garage metal accented by inconspicuous synth bits that eyeball the cosmos, the disc is prog-rock reimagined by Danzig. Or Local H playing industrial goth. Or just bad-ass.