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There's No 666 in Outer Space

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Audio CD, January 30, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Recordings here to throw you yet another musical curve ball - the reincarnation of Hella as a 5 piece! Interestingly, two of the new members aren't new faces to either Spencer or Zach, as both guitarist Josh Hill (Zach's cousin) and bassist Carson McWhirter were in a pre-Hella band alongside the aforementioned duo. However, when finding a singer led to a dead end, the quartet went their separate ways, and the two-man version of Hella was launched. But upon recently finding Nevada City-based butcher-come-singer Aaron Ross, Spencer and Zach knew that the time was right for a multi-member Hella line-up. Rest assured, the addition of new members has certainly not taken away from the group's precision sound - it only expands on it. Zach who came up with the title sheds some light. It means what it says - it's putting things in perspective as far as, you can relate it to anything - the cycle of how things get carried away and how the 'mob mentality' happens. When you can put it in a different light, how ridiculous it all seems - how petty and miniscule everything is, in the concept of the universe or space. How things evolve into such a massive brainwash - whether you're a right wing conservative or an anarchist - all these ideas that don't exist anywhere else.

With There's No 666 in Outer Space, Hella steps up with an album that is as fiercely imaginative as any the Sacramento-based group has released before. As groundbreaking and fearless as 2002's Hold Your Horse Is or 2004's The Devil Isn't Red, 666 provides its audience with a multifaceted listening experience that defies musical boundaries and may, upon repeated listens, permanently alter the senses. "Friends Don't Let Friends Win," "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle," "Let Your Heavies Out" and "The Things That People Do When They Think No One's Looking" marry the sturm und drang of Red-era King Crimson with the menacing whimsy of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. Others, including title cut "Anarchists Just Wanna Have Fun," imagine a harmonious union between the ever-theatrical Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and the heavier-than-thou System of a Down. But Hella has its own rich character and it occupies a mysterious and distinct musical universe, a territory that has yet to be named because we must first find a new vocabulary to begin to speak of it. This place requires that the listener have the heart and mind and ears of a world-class explorer, a seeker who trusts in the unknown and returns to strange sonic soil again and again to unravel its great grand mysteries, plot its progress, and bathe in its fertile soil. There's No 666 in Outer Space may be one of the most important releases of 2007. And it may be years later that we catch up with it. ––Jedd Beaudoin

1. World Series
2. Let Your Heavies Out
3. The Ungrateful Dead
4. Friends Don't Let Friends Win
5. The Things That People Do When They Think No Ones Looking
6. Hand That Rocks The Cradle
7. 2012 And Countless
8. Anarchists Just Wanna Have Fun
9. Dull Fangs
10. Sound Track To Insecurity
11. There's No 666 In Outer Space

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 30, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ipecac Recordings
  • ASIN: B000LPR548
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,548 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The first release for the new 5-piece band, this is not the Hella of yore quality/consistency-wise, but still a very unique and ambitious release that grows and grows on the listener. The most insidiously listenable track "The Ungrateful Dead" may sound a LOT like Mars Volta (albeit with tighter structure and more conspicuous drumming), but most of the rest of the album is much harder to pigeonhole, often coming across as a funkier, electronics-addled take on Trout Mask Replica. The main element that old Hella fans are bound to focus on is the singing (the first to occupy an entire Hella release). Aaron Ross unfortunately is lacking in stylistic flair and even invites occasional comparisons to such established singers as Chris Cornell, Billy Corgan, and Les Claypool. That said, he does a adequate job of keeping up with Hella's hyper-rhythmic onslaught.

As this CD will divide the old fans, I recommend it to completists and the uninitiated looking for something adventurous but more traditional sounding than two-piece Hella.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Dude on February 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For recent fans of Hella and this group of musicians the vocals and more structured/coherent songwriting might take a while to get used to. For longtime fans who might have thought of Hella as 50% of Legs On Earth this is the album you have been waiting for since the year 2000. LOE member Josh Hill is back on guitar and better than ever with incredibly technical staccato lines that are the perfect contrast to an offering that could almost be considered conservative for Spencer Seim. On bass is longtime collaborator Carson McWhirter who does an impressive job of tying the band together; sometimes doubling the lead guitar part but more often than not taking to the low end to dual Zach Hill's onslaught with complex Levinian lines that show his background and interest in more straightforward prog/math rock. The new kid on the block in this group is Aaron Ross who takes on a task few people would envy: adding words to a very successful instrumental band with fans that have historically been resistant to the addition of vocals. I've come to really enjoy the work done by Ross on this album. I've already heard comparisons to Claypool, Cornell, Bowie, Plant and others, but even though I can hear them in certain areas for me the vocals as a whole are a unique element that compliment and help shape the overall sound of the album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Robinson on March 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I didn't really know much of anything about Hella before gettin this. I own Cryptomnesia by El Grupo Nuevo and loved it. Looked up Zach Hill and wound up getting this album. There's some hidden element in the songs that takes me back to the early 90's when the grunge bands were making this trance-inducing drone of loud. The singers voice takes me right to it. Just listen to Let Your Heavies Out. Also, I'm not getting the Mars Volta comparisons at all. I don't think this is prog. Its noise rock plain and and simple. That's all I'd call it. Nothing I hear reminds me of the Volta and I'm a really big fan of the Volta.

There are some complaints here and there about the lyrics, but I think the lyrics are really good. "Did someone open an undertow or is this drowning feeling typical?" There's a lot of great weird/surreal stuff to the lyrics but unlike, say, the Volta, enough coherent emotionality to go along with it. Again, reminds me of the early good 'emo' stuff that Ian MacKaye was doing with Fugazi and the good grunge ala Dinosaur Jr. This really feels like super technical grunge. And yes, Zach Hill is a beast on drums. Polyrhythms take me back to Elvin Jones when he was with Coltrane and all I listened to was jazz. With guitars and bass its amazing.

All in all this is quickly turning into one of my favorite albums.
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Format: Audio CD
Ah, vocals. Who would have ever thought? Not me, that's for sure. And not only vocals, but the inclusion of a rhythm guitarist and a bassist. Aaron Ross is actually a very talented vocalist. He has the ability to sound like Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Nathan Willett and Billy Corgan all simultaneously. I can't think of a more fitting vocalist for the style of music he's been put with. Josh Hill's rhythm guitar work is actually very welcome. He tends to add a bit of atmosphere to the mix when it would be nothing more than chaos. Sadly, Carson McWhirter's bass has been completely overcome by the sheer sound of the rest of the instruments. His work with the keys is very noticeable, though. All that being said, Zach and Spencer are still the main attractions, here. Without them, the band would probably end up being a badly thrown-together Mars Volta wannabe group.

Tracks like 'Friends Don't Let Friends Win', 'Hand That Rocks The Cradle' and 'The Ungrateful Dead', prove that Hella can completely revamp their style and still be one of the most unique, mind boggling and strangely acceptable bands in this universe. That is, if they actually are from this universe. Sources are saying Zach Hill is not. 'Hand That Rocks The Cradle' has actually battled '1-800 Ghost Dance' a few times for the spot of catchiest Hella song. It's so downright amazing, it's almost hard to believe. It's also the track that best utilizes Aaron's voice. Switching from a smooth butter-like tone to an ear-piercingly high wail that is just phenomenal. The other aforementioned tracks are almost just as good.

'The Things People Do When They Think No One's Looking' was indeed a great choice for a first single. It sports a very catchy chorus and superbly written instrumentals. Especially Zach's drum intro.
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