Hella - Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard (2005)

Suicide Squeeze

Yes, it's true. Hella pulled an Outkast. Two discs, one written by one guy, one written by the other. Now, I'm not too familiar with their previous releases (at all, I mean, maybe I heard one MP3 before) but I'll break it down CD by CD for you for this release.

  • Church Gone Wild
The baby of Zach Hill, this is a lo-fi spazz rock disc. There are lyrics and vocals. Shock! Amazement! Think: older Animal Collective stuff if it was rock oriented. If you haven't heard older Animal Collective stuff, then think of weird noises and sirens/whines/feedback over affected guitars and noise in general. Other comparisons would be to Liars' They Were Wrong So We Drowned. The only thing is, I think more of you would like it because experimental as it may be, there's definitely more of a punk feel to it. I mean, shit, I love it, but I love weird stuff because it piques my interests. I mean, it's not going to be as appealing to the masses as, say, Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run1, but hey, what is? The album is one song with twelve movements, and the transitions are generally flawless. A lot of the songs are fairly long though, and the album itself is just under an hour. Not something to pop in just for a quick listen, but if you dig experimentation and some crazy rhythms and noises, then hot damn, this is for you. I give it an 8.
  • Chirpin' Hard
There is a poppier feel to this one. It is the baby of Spencer Seim. Now, just because I said it was poppier doesn't mean it's less spastic or crazy. It's just got a sense of melody to it that is cohesive in some way shape or form. This is probably closer to what your older Hella records were. It's fully instrumental, and because of that I get bored with it easier. The production is a tad bit more refined, as in I can distinguish the different instruments, and the drums are insane with rhythms and beats. I'm guessing this guy was the drummer? Blips and keyboards accompany guitar riffs along with effects. It's hard to describe and even harder to make comparisons. Classic Hella fans, this more directed towards you. I believe. I could be wrong. I give it a 7 because I like vocals and lyrics. It grounds me to something, gives me a better reference point. Anyway, not a bad album, but not my bag. Together it would be a 7.5, so I rounded up to compensate for the brilliance of Church Gone Wild.

1 - Back when I promised Brian that I wouldn't rip on albums during reviews, I also made a promise to Adam. This promise was to incorporate more Bruce Springsteen references in my reviews. There you go, Adam. Happy Birthday.