Hella is a two-piece that must be seen to be appreciated. It's not an extensive visual display, just the breathtaking spectacle of two musicians tangling with their instruments with an intensity reserved for assailants in a back-alley knife fight. This shamanistic experimental rock duo is what jam bands would sound like if manned by incredible, jazz-trained musicians -- at times the sound is skronk in its cacophonous roar, the pounding drums mimicking the coke-addled heart of Ray Liotta's Henry Hill in GoodFellas as the cops close in. The drums' primitive undertone is layered with enormous-yet-supple crashing waves of guitar. It's a difficult sound, without a doubt, but Hella always pulls it back with great precision, reemerging with something that could loosely be called a song, and creating the impression of outrageous musical stuntmen. Don't try this at home.


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