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Take the hard, anthemic side of Superchunk, then polish it over and lend it a great deal of ambition, and you'll have something of the sound Gem shoots for on Hexed -- the band lays its main lines in big, dramatic indie rock, but takes the occasional cue from less-rocking work like Versus or New Radiant Storm King, just often enough to give the album a sense of depth and variety. No matter what forms the band drifts around, however, the uniting theme of Hexed is the very serious and very ambitious rock attitude which marks every track -- none of the charming sloppiness of indie ever rears its head on the record. This fact which may turn off some listeners, but it is, ultimately, what gives the album its drive and focus.