Hella, Make Believe | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hella, Make Believe 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Hella plays at freakish velocities, uncorking maniacal, proggy riffs that flash by in lockstep with cluttered, spastic drum patterns--it's as though guitarist Spencer Seim and drummer Zach Hill were marionettes, with a smirking sadist holding the strings. On the Sacramento duo's second full-length, The Devil Isn't Red (5 Rue Christine), they sprint sure-footedly from one terse flurry of notes to the next; like Ruins and Lightning Bolt they're furiously complex, but they leave out the incomprehensible vocals. Though Hella usually pauses for breath only at the end of a piece, it's possible (if not necessary) for an attentive listener to mentally slow down the onslaught until it's comprehensible. Seim's jagged lines, which collapse and expand like accordions, are actually packed with catchy patterns--but by the time you can make sense of the first one, he's already ten steps ahead of you. Don't get me wrong, I like this stuff, but I'm still not sure if it isn't just the musical equivalent of bodybuilders flexing. Opener Make Believe, a quartet helmed by Joan of Arc's Tim Kinsella, pick up where his short-lived band Owls left off (guitarist Sam Zurick is the other holdover). Judging from their self-titled five-song debut on Flameshovel, this is the hardest rocking group Kinsella's been involved with since emo juggernaut Cap'n Jazz. He's at his most demonstrative, blitzing through his elliptical lyrics with his voice cracking or opening up into a raw, urgent scream; Zurick, bassist Bobby Burg, and drummer Nate Kinsella unleash a pounding attack filled with logic-defying grooves that double back on themselves and swallow their own tails. Philadelphia's Need New Body plays second. $10, 18+. Thursday, June 10, 8 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton; 773-975-0505 or 800-594-8499.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Wet Cash Dark Tower Comics
July 28
Performing Arts
Bus Stop Athenaeum Theatre
July 19

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories