Hella – Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass (CD)

Hella – Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass / 7 Tracks / 2003 Narnack Records / http://www.hellatheband.com / http://www.narnackrecords.com / Released 6 August 2003 / Reviewed 27 September 2003

Totally coming out of a black metal tradition in the fact that at any one time, four or five sounds seem to be arising around you, Hella is the intelligent person’s Cannibal Corpse. With no rhyme or reason behind their sequencing, the two man band keeps the entire flow fresh with the incorporation of many different instruments. What really makes Hella something to behold is not the tornado-alarm of “Magixburg”, but rather the level that they incorporate synthesized sounds into the nucleus of guitar and drums. Leading off the disc, “Your DJ Children” begins as if it was the theme for the Christian skating show, Steelroots, only moving a little away from that when a sample/sequence not unlike the Jetsons theme bounces in.

Moving from the breakneck speed of “Your DJ Children” and “Magixburg”, “Koko B. Ware” still holds that metallic mood while also having the synthesizer lines that sound as if they were copped from Castlevania. Hella provides the vital link between noise-punk and more traditional styles due to the heavy sequencing of each track, but while still having a certain amount of chaos to the structuring and time signatures of each instruments. Finishing off the disc is the track, “Who Ray”, which is structured more like a shoe-gazing (read Mudhoney, Sebadoh) song, ever spiraling into faster and faster lines, taking in a more tribal element in the process.

One exciting thing about Hella is the fact that even through about a half-hour of music, each composition on this disc is so different from the others that one can just strap this CD into a player and blast it for hours at a time. While some people may just need vocals for these tracks, Hella’s general sound is so rich and vibrant that a set of vocals would just most likely detract from the ambiance. On “Total Bugs Bunny”, there are two very distinct currents. For example, the synth lines present on pretty much every song are fairly simple, having a slower tempo than the breakneck drums. Hella provides this disc as more of a “Choose Your Own Adventure”, where one can choose to listen most intently to either level of track, and get a completely different set of feelings and emotions from each.

Rating : 7.5/10

Top Tracks : Koko B. Ware, Who Ray

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