The Hextalls – Rock You To Sleep

  • Dustin Blumhagen posted
  • Reviews

The Hextalls

Rock You To Sleep - Self Released

Their name pays homage to both one of the greatest punk bands to ever exist (The Ramones), but also one of the most badass goalies to ever lace up in the NHL (Ron Hextall). Their songs name check folks like Kenny Rogers, Shania Twain and Bryan Adams. Their average song length hovers around the two minute mark, yet they still manage to drop a seemingly endless supply of F bombs. They play simple, fast paced pop punk (think Screeching Weasel, not Good Charlotte) and they play it well. If Chixdiggit are the fathers of Canadian pop punk, then The Hextalls are their bratty teen sons.

Rock You to Sleep is 13 humorous songs that range in topic from growing a playoff beard in support of the Philadelphia Flyers (and the annual heartbreaking shave that notoriously follows their inevitable loss) in “I Bred This Beard For Slaughter” to an offbeat tribute to a Canadian icon (“Grant Lawrence, King of the Forest.”) “I’m A Hulkamaniac!” is a catchy song that name checks “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Mr. T, which will appeal to 80s kids.  There is nothing greater than singing along to “Holy Fuck I’m a Dad,” only to hear your 3 year old (who was supposedly sleeping) parroting the line from the back seat and telling you to turn up the rock and roll. They combine punk rock and humor in a way that doesn’t feel as awkward and embarrassing as middle aged Blink 182 members making penis jokes onstage. They weaned out the short clips that dotted their previous release, Get Smashed, which were interesting, but unnecessary. Small bursts of piano are scattered about, which sounds like an uncomfortable blend with the constraints of the genre on paper, but adds a little diversity to the album as a whole.

This style of pop punk isn’t known for its originality, but The Hextalls manage to stand out in the overcrowded scene. Their songs are less cynical than Screeching Weasel, funnier than Teenage Bottlerocket and poppier than The Descendents. On their third release, The Hextalls have fine tuned their formula and released a high quality album that is fun to listen to.