I got my first speeding ticket while listening to the Hex Dispensers. My friend and I were barreling towards Chicago from New York, on our way to see some bands. We were singing “My Love Is a Bat” (from their killer Winchester Mystery House LP for Douchemaster Records) when I realized I was going 80-something in a 70 mph zone. Actually, it was more like I just realized the Indiana highway patrol hates rock and roll, loves harshing my mellow, and really loves my money.
That’s just one reason why the Hex Dispensers will always stay with me, but their music was made for law-breaking a lot more serious than my afforementioned limp encounter with the cops. At the black, bulletproof heart of their frenetic horror punk is drummer/vocalist Alyse Mervosh, whose singularly intense playing helps makes every Hex Dispensers tune not just a song, but a goddamn lifestyle.
She always sounds great and has cleary got an open ear and pure reverence for great punk drumming wherever and whenever she finds it; I was stoked to see that her (in no particular order) top 5 list of guy drummers was made up mostly of her peers.
Dave Rahn of Gentlemen Jesse, The Carbonas
A straight-ahead, hard-working drummer whose playing looks effortlessly cool.
Bill Roe of Cococoma
Lead singer and drummer — double-duty is not for the faint of heart. Especially with the intensity he throws into each role.
Mike Throneberry of The Marked Men, The Reds
A Texas institution who has influenced many younger drummers. His style is intricate, not showy, and he keeps it all together while playing super-fast and singing back-up. I wanna be like Mike!
Chris the Fist of Sonic Chicken 4
A tall man with a small drum kit; he’s so much fun to watch! He plays with a distinctive swagger, while keeping things straightforward and driving. Reminds me of Mo Tucker at times and makes me wanna simplify my kit.
An obvious choice maybe, but you can’t beat the original. Punk rock drumming shouldn’t be complicated or flashy. The basic Ramones beat is perfection.
By Davie Kaufman