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They Mean Us

The Ladies

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Album Review

Whenever a side band features a member from Hella, you know that noise is going to have to bubble to the surface at some point. And Hella drummer Zach Hill doesn't disappoint on 2006's They Mean Us, the debut release by his new outfit, the Ladies. Joining Hill is Pinback singer/guitarist Rob Crow, and as the press release states, the album can be looked at in one of two ways — either as being "more adventurous than Pinback, or more accessible than Hella." But those who pass off the band as merely noise are completely missing the point — both are obviously highly skilled at their instruments, as evidenced by the prog rock-ish "Nice Chaps, Buddy." Also, while the album definitely does have an off-the-cuff air about it, it turns out that the duo worked long and hard on it — as it took two years to fully complete (and was produced at several different locations). That said, the din that hovers over the blink-and-it's-over "Black Metal in the Hour of Starbucks" is pure Hella. But it's an interesting experiment to hear both indie rock and noise worlds collide, and They Mean Us certainly works more times than not. Noise can indeed be melodic, and vice versa.

Biography

Formed: 2003

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Indie rock, uncontrolled noise, and complex — almost prog rock — song structures all collide in the world of the Ladies. If this sounds sort of like Pinback meets Hella, it's because the Ladies are comprised of the former's Rob Crow and the latter's Zach Hill. Recorded over two years and at various locations, the project...
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They Mean Us, The Ladies
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