Tripper – Hella review

Blissed out hippies beware. Tripper isn’t for you if you’re into lying in the tie-dyed grass, closing your eyes and listening to quiet, breath-like atmospheric shit. But, you know, you could very well like lying in the silent grass and still dig this if you’re a musically diverse person who appreciates many different ways of approaching style and sound and so in that case, MDMA dancers, ditzy junkies, shallow flamers and hard addicts of Peter Paul and Mary, all are welcome here in this noise.

Headless is the first track from this Sacramento band made up primarily of Spencer Seim on strings and Zach Hill on drums. The song sounds like an orchestra trying to tune up in the middle of an airplane crash while burning cats on surfboards ride into telephone poles. Or something. To give a less retarded description, it’s just a hugely mathy blend of mad guitar throw-downs and insane, bashing percussive explosions; the whole thing rises and falls like manic, electric waves.

Yubacore is one track that has these satisfying pockets and sweet spots of great little guitar licks and bass hooks.

Interestingly enough (and after listening to Tripper, not surprising either) Seim and Hill are right in the thick of things with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, being members of El Groupo Omar Rogriguez-Lopez. You can hear why Lopez would wanna jam with these guys; through the intensity of Hella’s multi-layered noise bristling with lunacy, there are layers of fine-tuned beauty and a wild, virtuosic feel to their plunging. Netgear showcases this brilliantly.

Kid Life Crisis is a fucking blast to listen to; it’s absolutely fun as hell and the guitar takes you all over the place, brightly, in this grinding, child-like thrashing way. Listening to this as I type this. This is fucking great, god there are some sweet parts in here.

And now I at least have to write about Further, because it’s definitely my favorite on here. Somehow these fools manage to mangle this 60’s style acoustic weirdness into something so aflame and crazy, that it’s a total experience to listen to, which is personally my favorite kind of music, the stuff of experiences.

Okay, so anyway, this is their fifth studio album and while unquiet stuff like this could come across as an unruly headache, you can tell that Hella has put the work in here; it’s structured with an intricate attentiveness to detail that is kind of daunting to the 3-chord-Gord’s of this world.

If you’re looking for an album that holds the same essence of sound that musical mad scientists Mars Volta has shown, then Hella brings it hard, and in their own real way.

By Caile Michelle


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