The Devil Isn’t Red

As guitar-instrumental wankfests go, this second album from Hella is just so gosh-darned swell. Alone, guitarist Spencer Seim’s twisted shards of musical sheet metal and drummer Zach Hill’s hyperactive big-beat paeans to the demon-possessed ghost of Buddy Rich indicate an intimate familiarity with the technical strengths, and limitations, of their chosen instruments. Together, they create magic. Yeah, some of the noise here can get a little boring, but when this duo is on, it sounds like Lightnin’ Hopkins pissing flaming Everclear onto the wheels of a parade of Shriners driving miniature Olds Cutlasses, sending them careening into the shrieking crowd. And a few numbers will give Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band fans a good, solid rogering of the mind. Even Spike Jones gets a nod. Nice.