Hella

Acoustics

by Daniel Spicer

24 October 2006

 

Another day, another genre. With this 23 minute EP, Sacramento duo Hella may well have spawned math-folk—simply by taking the amplification out of their usual over-driven aural assault and switching to acoustic instruments. If anything, by removing the distraction of power, the move makes their formidable Prog-Metal chops sound even more unnervingly precise, complex, and relentless. At times, these fractured yet closely composed tunes sound like a strange kind of speed-Beefheart—approximating some of Don Van Vliet’s most fiendishly complicated instrumental compositions tackled at a punishing tempo. Throughout the 6 tracks on offer here, Spencer Seim’s guitar veers from Fripp-esque twiddles to a kind of mutoid doom-bluegrass by way of disjointed Les Claypool-style twangs, while Zach Hill attacks the drum kit with vicious brushes, rolling out intense clusters of kick-drum triplets that sound like some weird amalgam of free-jazz and thrash metal. Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what Hella is all about.

Acoustics

Rating:

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Music Writers... Hip-Hop, Soul, Electronic, Rock, Indie, Americana, Jazz, World and More

// Announcements

"PopMatters is looking for smart music writers. We're looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and…

READ the article