The Devil Isn’t Red CD – 5 Rue Christine

Have you ever had so much coffee that you can’t stand still, can’t keep your hands from shaking violently, can’t even complete a sentence – or let anyone else complete one either – without going off on a tangent about something only marginally related to the subject at hand? Judging from The Devil Isn’t Red, that’s pretty much how Hella feels all the time. The record is frenzied math rock at its most haywire, full of sputtering guitars spazzing through hyperactive licks and an insistent percussion section that is just as crazed. While Don Cabellero may hold the title as the technical kings of math rock and Oxes may be the genre’s irreverent, it’s likely that Hella is the most spastic. Never content to simply explore one musical idea, each song jerks itself through a myriad of conflicting time signatures and competing rhythmic patterns. Like some deranged mental patient – or at least someone with severe Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – Hella seems intent on representing the mental landscape of those in a state of constant distraction. It’s a provocative, exciting album with enough technical braggadocio to keep the theory-nerds happy and enough frenzied, instrumental insanity to keep the rest of us scratching our heads, but also listening very intently. (Peter Suderman)



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