Hella There's No 666 In Outer Space

Fulfilling their vision to flesh out Hella from a two-piece to a "real” band, founding members Zach Hill (drums) and Spencer Seim (guitar) have unleashed a storm of a record with actual dynamics infiltrating their impossibly cacophonous arrangements. As a five-piece, Hella come close to approximating comprehensible noises here, tackling classic rock riffage with the same dizzying fury and grandeur of the Mars Volta. New bassist Carson McWhirter and guitarist Josh Hill perfectly complement Hella’s sound, adding a relatable rumble to their brand of noise rock. All of this is apparent within a minute of "World Series,” a seven-minute musical exploration that introduces vocalist Aaron Ross to Hella fans. The Nevada City-based butcher-by-trade digs out a place for his soaring vocals within Hella’s unrelenting instrumental attack and alternates between sounding akin to a smart-alecky Robert Plant and an exhumed Layne Staley. When "Let Your Heavies Out” begins, it closely resembles a NoMeansNo-style progression but before long it takes off in a completely different direction, with Zach Hill’s blurry drumming making an attempt at the speed of sound. "Friends Don’t let Friends Win” is like a Primus song on acid and the annoying chorus of "Hand That Rocks the Cradle” is difficult to shake. As "Anarchists Just Wanna Have Fun” suggests, Hella revel in the musical possibilities of their new line-up. (Ipecac)