The Hex Dispensers are the magic bullet. What they pull off is so fraught with potential failure, that the fact that they are any better than passable is a cause for celebration. Let’s establish some early facts: the Hex Dispensers are great and they’ve made their best album yet. Let me explain some larger implications. Bands of Danzig ripper-off-er-ers are clowns. Here’s a fun thing to do. For every devil-locked spook who’s taking themselves a wee bit too seriously at their respective musical duties, I just imagine them with bright red noses, big-ass shoes, and oversized ties. For every skeleton-handed glove, I imagine bright pink polka dots. If you’re asking me to willingly suspend belief that the Misfits never existed and what you’re doing has one iota of a creative spark, I might as well have fun with it. But the Hex Dispensers, although they tread in the operatic darker lands of music’s psyche, they do it with an Edward Gorey precision and a Tales from the Crypt style of understanding of both blood spatters and the psychology of titillating terror. They’re both simultaneously paranoid and dance party of the apocalypse-sounding, filtered through the dark charcoal of years playing in small bars and backyards. The album ends with a kick-ass cover of Devo’s “Gates of Steel.” If you’re on a tight budget, and can only buy a couple of records this year, here’s one of my top recommendations.