Hochenkeit: Omu4h 4aholab/400 Boys

Jim Hayes


Omu4h 4aholab/400 Boys

Label: Roadcone
US Release Date: 2000-11-14

Swirling. Y'gotta admire a band that has an unpronounceable name (Hokken-keit? Da Hoch? Y' down with th'Hoch? I'm a Hochhead man, Hochenkeit baby, the Hoch, yea Da Hoch) so I can't pronounce their name and the title of their CD is omu4h 4aholab and that's supposedly as close as English gets to representing the Mayan phrase "400 Boys" (call Bishop Landa, call Judge Crater is this true?) -- that's what the blurb says anyway.

What I got when I opened the package was this building drone, this sort of pensive slam over some banging clanks and groans -- just a tone, just a nod to a slim fade. I kept playing it over and over, the songs seemed to shape my curtains like the wind drifting into each other and it slowly builds into a gitar jam that resonates with a headband clarity. I was raving about Hochenkeit in a crowded exclusive back stage that is representative of my status as a hipster rock critick. "What's the instrumentation?", the moon-faced and slightly bearded road manager asked: violin, harmonium, traps, guitar, bass Hammond a thing I never heard of a cumbus and the press kit lists all these exotic instruments and then they start soloing like a lost cigarette after the whippet party dropped down the couch and it sears above all this bleak plateau of sound -- but they come through and starts to jam out and rock out like all the promises that psychedelic music made but never came through with. (The Dead are more interesting to read about than actually listen to -- it's true okay? Realize it, under stand it, live it -- but this one time I was following another rock band through the hills of South Eastern Ohio and the road is winding and rising up and St Stephen from "live/dead" comes on and I admit it, it sounded good that one instead that one there). And it reminds me of Hockenkeit. Explosive, subtle, long viola codas with a symbols being batted about -- I don't know about all the world music stuff the publicity mentions but I know that it sounds good and it's great for driving through the North Georgia mountains. From Portland, Oregon. Meltzer's hometown. Produced by Steven Wray Lobdell.





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