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.
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article