Hella are a duo from Sacramento, California. They have an extraordinarily distinctive sound: a flowing, harsh, organic, structured, loose, melodic and noisy abstract that comes from the telepathic dialogue between Spencer Seim (guitarist) and Zach Hill (drums). Elements of progressive and classic rock are put through a psychic mincer with fragments of daily popular culture and computer game soundtracks… although that doesn’t really do justice to it. At all.
Best to jump straight into that magnificent Biblical Violence video:
Hella have released four albums: Hold Your Horse Is (2002) and The Devil Isn’t Red (2004) on 5 Rue Christine Church Gone Wild/Chirpin’ Hard (2005) on Suicide Squeeze, and There’s No 666 in Outer Space (2007) on Ipecac Recordings, and most recently Tripper (2011, Sargent House). There’s No 666… saw Hella incarnated as a full five-piece band, (a great album but relatively conventional, if that’s really the right word). Tripper was a return to a duo and something of a triumph, balancing tunes and sound sculpting in unique Hella manner.
Excellent documentary about an early Hella tour…
A special mention for Hella’s 2005 double album Church Gone Wild/ Chirpin’ Hard. Spencer Seim and Zach Hill compose one disc of the album each; the result is a mirror image true to each of their particular genius, Spencer’s computer-game-noise-pop sensibility vis Zach Hill’s visionary, hyperrealist psychedelica, both classics in their own right.
An early video, made by local directors David Nicholson & Brook Caballero