10 year old review! 

P. HUX Kiss the Monster (Nine 18)

My 1st encounter with P. Hux came in the unlikeliest places. A discount CD store somewhere in a Sydney suburb in 1997. That’s where I found Deluxe, which I consider to be one of the finer power pop albums in that pristine period of pop renaissance that was the late 90s.

I never got down to getting a hold of Purgatory Falls (2004), which I was then hearing a few good noises about. Well, things have come a little full circle for me and P. Hux as this spanking new CD was delivered to the PoP mailbox and arrives as a final chapter of the trilogy that began with Deluxe and continued with Purgatory Falls. Kiss the Monster is a resolution of sorts as Parthenon Huxley – the creative force behind P. Hux – sings and writes about the nature of his life circa 2008.

Thus, whilst the themes of the 11 songs cover such domestic topics as an estranged friend (My Friend Hates Me), marriage proposals (Wear My Ring), confessions of infidelity (Come Clean), maritial bliss (Better Than Good), fatherhood (Everything’s Different Now), there’s nothing mundane about the tunes, arrangements and instrumentation that Huxley and his cohorts wrap these themes in.From the chiming, gleaming Danelectro 12 appregios of the opening Perfect to the buzzy chamber rock of Yet To Say, from the McCartneyesque (Emitt) Rhodes-inflected Bones to the psych-folk of Just Might Fly, Huxley demonstrates a mastery of power pop customs and traditions that informs every track.

Not meant as an inditement on Huxley’s songwriting but the band’s rendition of the Beatles’ I’m Looking Through You is simply breath-taking and might be the highlight of the album. That said, the tender beauty of Everything’s Different Now (written for Huxley’s daughter, Fiona), the 70s classic rock vibe of Wear My Ring and the pulsating emotional timbre of Come Clean is sufficient evidence of Huxley’s pop pedigree.

The highest recommendation for pop lovers everywhere – go get Kiss the Monster!

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