Noise Pop Newsletter

HELLA

There's no 666 in outer space

Get ready for supernatural feats to be executed on earthly instruments, for an ambush of big, bushy beards, and for an experimental hurricane of sound to rain down from the north. "North" as in Northern California, that is. Hailing from Sacramento, Hella brings their super-tight, mega-technical, Gameboy-infused blend of improvisational math-rock, noise-rock, and avant-garde sounds to Noise Pop. Co-founding members Spencer Seim and Zach Hill started artfully experimenting with noise in high school, before deciding to craft an even more incomprehensible sound with the formation of Hella in 2001. Since then, Seim and Hill have been the mainstays of the group, while holding somewhat of a revolving door open for other band members. Seim has earned quite the reputation for his guitar skills -- hyper-speedy string-acrobatics, to say the least -- while Hill has set himself apart as one of rock's most spastically-imaginative human drum machines, er, human drummers. The combo, in all its permutations, has been mightily prolific, releasing 12 CDs and touring with bands such as Out Hud, System of a Down, The Mars Volta, Les Claypool, and Dillinger Escape Plan. In 2005, Hella produced a joint DVD/EP called Concentration Face/Homeboy, featuring nearly three hours of live material from their tour in Japan. Fans should get -- ahem -- hella excited for this gig, as Seim and Hill seemed to have slipped the band a couple doses of those 1-up mushrooms (three, to be exact) with the addition of new members Josh Hill, Carson McWhirter, and Aaron Ross. With the current line up, the group is better prepared than ever to unleash musical anarchy. Expect to be thrown into a Minus World of far-out experiments in the nightmarish blend of apocalyptic drumming and elegantly disorganized guitar jams, as heard on their just-released fourth full-length, There's No 666 in Outerspace, on Ipecac Recordings. For the first time, Hella's featuring vocals on nearly every track, which adds yet another new dimension to band's sound. Don't forget to take your anti-seizure meds and bring a couple ear plugs to the show. - VERONICA YOUNG