Hold Your Horse Is – Hella

Beep beep beep beep beeepp… beep bip bip beeeep. BEE BU BEEEP.

Hold Your Horse Is

Hold Your Horse Is

And thus begins Hella’s debut album in unusual fashion.

baa dee dum (kukunk) daaa babeepbudubaabuu (kukunk) bumbeepbbaaaa BIIYIIM BIIYIIM.

For a noise rock band, an SNES-styled intro is unexpected. 44 seconds of this wierd beeping. And then, suddenly without warning, KABOOM into biblical violence. Already a wave of noise takes over the speakers, as Zach Hill’s ridiculously quick bombastic drumming in god-knows-what time signature and Spencer Seim’s wonderfully clean and inventive finger tapping enter the mainframe. Biblical Violence is a perfect “proper” opening (minus the cute anomaly of the D. Ekan, the album’s opening track) to Hold Your Horse Is, the awaited debut album from NorCal rock band Hella, because it perfectly summarises it – biblical violence says “motherfucker, get your fine self ready for 30 minutes of insane math-noise-fuck-awesome rock.

The surf-styled tremolos of Been a Long Time, Cousin and the more solemn riffs of Republic of Rough and Ready serve a perfect backdrop for Zach Hill’s outfreakage. However, it is a shame that Seim is shadowed by Zach Hill’s attention-grabbing insane drumming, as Seim himself is a guitarist of great virtuosity – primarily cause he has the ability to keep up with, and even challenge Hill.

one of my favourite tracks though has to be the track that follows.


Smash! 1-800-GHOST-DANCE is just an explosion of joy and raw power, constantly changing direction and tempo, making the perfect song to be a total dickhead to.

The bizarre Brown Metal and the chaotic Cafeteria Bananas follow (toms galore!) follow, closed by City Folk Sitting, Sitting and Better Get a Broom! (the former with some great build-ups, the latter just classic chaos).

So yes, Hella’s debut is a mixing pot of incredible riffs, mind-boggling drumming, virtuosity, kickass rhythms, perfect synchronisation and video game music. And surely, if you can listen to Zach Hill’s drumming for over 30 minutes without ejaculating, you don’t have ears.

  1. “The D. Elkan” – 0:43
  2. “Biblical Violence” – 3:03
  3. “Been a Long Time Cousin” – 3:50
  4. “Republic of Rough and Ready” – 3:44
  5. “1-800-GHOST-DANCE” – 3:44
  6. “Brown Metal” – 3:54
  7. “Cafeteria Bananas” – 3:40
  8. “City Folk Sitting, Sitting” – 7:06
  9. “Better Get a Broom!” – 4:20

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