Release DetailsLABEL Kill Rock Stars
RELEASED ON 9/28/2005
Concentration Face (DVD) & Homeboy (EP)
posted on 6/2006 By:
The DVD portion of this double disc affair is over two hours of film taped during Hella’s May 2004 tour of Japan. Concentration Face is entertaining, above all, because it doesn’t concern itself only with Hella’s performances – city life, behind-the-scenes antics, and opening acts seem as pertinent as the headliners themselves. Each said component is examined, though not exhaustively. The zany instrumental duo – comprised of Spencer Seim (guitar) and Zach Hill (drums) – steamroll through excerpts of their discography with panache, leaving eager Japanese people (and viewers at home) to contort madly along with the music. Brandishing several camera angles and filming techniques, the production, editing, and overall style are top-notch. The segues often stun, too, due to their proficiency and utter cleverness. However, some passages feel long or drawn out, and understandably become tedious to sit through.
The CD portion is an EP with four new studio tracks that clock in at approximately 30 minutes. Like a Nintendo gone haywire, “Gothspel for You Not Them” blasts off with the trademark craziness that Hella are known for. Matter of fact, words such as wacky, loopy, loony, bizarre, whimsical, odd, and fucked-up describe the twosome quite well. More often than not, the music is fast-paced and jumbled, which will undoubtedly alienate those who prefer a conventional, straightlaced approach. Compared to the 11-minute opening number, “Madonna Approaches R&B Blonde Wreckages” is a Genghis Tron-esque dwarf that barely surpasses the 2-minute mark. “BC but Not Before Christ” isn’t much longer, though it basically constructs a dense jungle of drums during the three and a half minutes it lives. The final composition – “If I Were in Hella I Would Eat Lick” – is a monster at 12 minutes, and is all over the board due partially to the rapid-fire electronics, spasm-riddled guitars, and insane drums. Come to think of it, perhaps Homeboy EP is a bit too spastic for its own good.
For the Hella fan, Concentration Face & Homeboy EP is pretty much a no-brainer. The DVD is genuinely interesting, and the CD is a nice complement. On the other hand, newcomers should approach these guys with caution, as their output needs much more than a straitjacket and Prozac for it to be deemed “normal.” Even though this is not for everyone, methinks starting with a regular full-length makes the most sense. While I go for this sort of thing at times, I’ll usually cling to Pelican, Red Sparowes, et al to satisfy my instrumental cravings. You might, too.
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