Hella - Total Bugs Bunny On Wild Bass (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Total Bugs Bunny On Wild Bass (2003)


Sacramento's new "it" band Hella is an interesting blend of ambition, motivation, and god only knows what else. "Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass" is a unique twenty minutes of percussion heavy noise that is anything but tight and everything but straight-forward. This is experimental drum practice on tape, named, and packaged for limited mass consumption. The chop heavy structures of these seven songs are exhausting, spastic, energetic, at times inspired, but on the whole pointless.

A song is born in melody and its accompanying harmony, something that is possible with percussion, but Hella merely throw riffs and fills together rather than establish a theme and develop it. Aside from over-the-top drumming, the music on this record is nonexistent save for programmed blips and cackles here and there, in fact, why name songs when they are unrecognizable from one another? "Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass" is an ambitious freak out lacking focus, substance, and any value that would justify a price tag. With the exception of "Who Ray" the other six tracks on this recording offer little entertainment value and even less artistic value.

Zach Hill (drums), and guest drummer Carson McWhirter, provide almost all of the sound that Hella produces, the leftovers are courtesy of Spencer Seim (guitar, programming), but what sound is generated by the drumming is uneven, mistake laden, and nothing more interesting than a child with two pencils, a flat surface, and one hella case of ADD. I applaud the DIY attitude of this Sacramento duo, recording the entire record in home, but had these tracks been cut in a studio the shock would be too much to endure. This recording presents itself as relevant, unique, and though-provoking, but in actuality it is an aural splat on the wall (a common degreaser will take care of the mess). An interesting experiment, but unfortunately a difficult listen, I suggest Hella find some focus and concentrate on substance rather than whatever it is they are doing because the current plan is a waste of hearing, and we all love our ears.