Hella Acoustics

Shredding guitar and attacking drums with such spastic playfulness as Hella’s Spencer Seim and Zach Hill unfurl in armloads doesn’t come easy, so it’s no wonder the two took some time to branch out after their last opus (a double album where each dude rocked out an entire CD to themselves) and work with other musicians (Hill especially went ballistic with Goon Moon, Flossin, and his collab slab with Mick Barr, to name a few). Regarding all this non-Hella action, Acoustics could be considered the EP where Hella get back on track, do their thing and do it well — only thing is, Seim is rocking the "hippy axe” (his term) instead of his usual electric guitar. Seim’s playing is just as precise and seemingly chaotic as ever, the control he exercises offsetting his impossibly complex speed riffing like a magician standing still as his materialised spells stir the air around him to life. Hill’s drumming, too, is everywhere at once while holding a stable centre amidst all the interlacing rhythmic hyperactivity. Instrumental post-metal duos hardly get this riveting and articulate, and Hella going acoustic for this EP only manages to further attest to their outstanding dynamic tension. (5RC)