Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hella - The Ungratefull Dead

If there's one band that would probably never be accused of needing to progress or re-invent themselves, it is the explosive duo of Spencer Seim and Zach Hill, better known together as Hella. It will take most of us a lifetime to get our heads around the sonic whirlwind that they produce; meanwhile, they've already gone ahead and progressed to that next level by adding 3 new members to the band and dropping the 2-piece label that has stuck with them for so long.

The new Hella now includes Zach Hill's brother Josh as a second guitarist, Carson McWhirter (Spencer's bandmate from The Advantage) on bass, and a new guy named Aaron Ross on vocals. Yes, that's right, they now have a lead singer who apparently was working as a butcher before joining the band. Unfortunately, the addition of a full-time vocalist is a bit of a double-edged sword here. I like the expanded sound that the additional instruments provide, but it's the vocals I am not completely sold on. Most of the time Ross resembles a cross between Mike Patton and Les Claypool and doesn't really add much to the music. On occasion, however, I am reminded of Zach Hill's collaboration with Rob Crow (The Ladies), or in the case of this song "The Ungratefull Dead", Ross almost sounds like Thom Yorke. Go figure. Either way, it's an interesting new twist for an incredible band that truly has no equal.

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Josh Hill is not Zach's brother, its his cousin...

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Beni Ross said...

my brother (Aaron Ross) does not sound like les claypool, his vocals catch the melodies of the band and pull them tighter together and give the whole band an overall realization of potential to be greater than they were before. Instead of just being noise that had no meaning, it now is noise with a meaning.