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Album Review

Making a literal return to form, Hella trim back down to a duo on their hyperkinetic fifth album, Tripper. While the addition of a fuller, more traditional lineup made for an interesting diversion for the band, Hella excel at doing more with less, stripping away distractions like vocals and bringing the sound back to the knotty, mind-boggling madness that made them a noise rock staple. This stripped-down, back-to-basics approach gives Tripper a free and open sound, as if Hella are really cutting loose for the first time in years and letting out all of the pent-up energy they’ve been holding onto for the past four years, as if the pressure has been building up and the dam has finally burst. This frantic release gives them a kind of spastic, jagged sound that puts them somewhere between Lightning Bolt and an actual bolt of lightning, and makes Tripper an album that's more likely to wear listeners out physically than mentally.


Formed: March, 2001 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Indie rockers Hella consist of guitarist Spencer Seim and drummer Zach Hill. The two first got together in the spring of 2001, developing a following around the Sacramento area that won them a record deal on 5 Rue Christine Records. Their debut LP, Hold Your Horse Is, appeared in 2002, and established Hella's chaotic approach to instrumental noise rock. The duo proved prolific, issuing the LP Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass on Narnack in 2003, The Devil Isn't Red for 5RC in 2004, and the double album...
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Tripper, Hella
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