Hella 2xCD review [Suicide Squeeze]

Music Reviews
Hella 2xCD review [Suicide Squeeze]
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Jun 6, 2007, 05:18

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HELLA Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard 2xCD

Making music intended to irritate and alienate is powerfully entertaining….at least for the makers thereof. It feels very liberating to deliberately flaunt the prerogative to please the audience, and frantic thrashing is excellent cardio. So, I wholeheartedly applaud all who do this. That doesn't mean I'd wanna listen to it or recommend others pay for the privilege of hearing it; while it's an utterly Dionysian experience for the players it seems pretty arid and academic a listen. The dogmatic point made by the tactic is worth making, and all discerning music geeks should confront it—once.

All this pertains pretty directly to Hella's Church Gone Wild—the first of a two-disc set.  Most of the album is an all-out rave-up from start to finish that throws in everything including the kitchen sink unrelentingly. One might characterize the result of listening to the entirety of Church Gone Wild draining—just as staring at a tornado might be after the first five minutes. But you can always walk away.

Chirpin' Hard, the second disc in this set, sees Hella taking a logical next step. Having liberated themselves from stylistic orthodoxies and reflexive ideation, they set out to assemble new structural imperatives for themselves, resulting in some powerful, distinctive riffage, often developing into hypnotic hard-rockin' grooves. They retain the ferocity of Church Gone Wild but focus it on a few instruments, clearing away the neo-musique concrete morass. What's left is fierce, explosive and honestly appealing

It is interesting having their growth curve documented and I'm sure youngsters will find it illuminating. Me? I'd've taken the existence of a Church Gone Wild phase as a given after I heard Chirpin' Hard. [Suicide Squeeze]

-Howard Wuelfing

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