Hella Tripper

Hella Tripper
Paring back from the full-band, mathified prog rock of 2007's There's No 666 in Outer Space, Hella have come as full circle as the experimental math/noise rock group are likely to. The original prodigious instrumental duo of Spencer Seim (guitar) and Zach Hill (drums) revisit the core sound forged on debut LP Hold Your Horse Is ― revisit, not regurgitate. Tripper doesn't sound so much like a nostalgic return to their roots as the refining and polishing of a mission statement. Barrages of densely packed notes are as ferocious and playful as ever, but they're guided by a more mature sense of melody and structure in the songwriting. Frequently deployed dynamic dissonance still creates plenty of sonic tension, bordering on the insane, but gives way to moments of catharsis so catchy you'll be humming all the way to the asylum. If you haven't been able to penetrate Hella's manic creative restlessness before, Tripper is your best way in. (Sargent House)