Hella | There’s No 666 in Outer Space (Ipecac Records)

cd_hellaWhile Hella's previous output of no-wave guitar/drum weirdness had enough elbow room for some well-placed chirping, having Aaron Ross on the microphone full time has resulted in a major shift in the band's song structure.

 

 

 

Hella's new disc is one that really needs multiple listens, because the Hella of memories past is gone. With keystone members Zach Hill and Spencer Seim, Hella has grown to quintet status. Along with the addition of guitarist Josh Hill and bassist Carson McWhirter comes the wailing vocal stylings of Aaron Ross. While Hella's previous output of no-wave guitar/drum weirdness had enough elbow room for some well-placed chirping, having Ross on the microphone full time has resulted in a major shift in the band's song structure. While it is not a total departure record, There's No 666 in Outer Space isn't likely to grab a hold of diehard fans and elicit initial excitement.

From a reviewer's (who is also a fan) perspective, I gave it multiple listens and absolutely hated it. Therefore, I set it down, stepped back, let it digest a bit, gave it a few more spins, discarded any knee-jerk reactions or self-deluding rationalizations, and came to this conclusion: While 666 isn't as awful as my first reaction led me to believe, it is still fairly pedestrian and annoying record—both as a Hella album and when judged as if Hella never existed. While its festivities get off to a fairly encouraging start with "World Series," "Let Your Heavies Out," and "The Ungrateful Dead," as the disc drags on, Ross' nasally vocals do all they can to ruin this record. Also, it does not help that 666's near-interminable running time (just under an hour) overstays its welcome by a good 20 minutes. Sorry for hitting a cliché, but sometimes less is more. That holds true for bands members as well—at least the member using their tongue. D+ | David Lichius

RIYL: N/A

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