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HOLD YOUR HORSE IS

Hella

Post Rock/Math rock


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Hella Hold Your Horse Is album cover
3.89 | 22 ratings | 6 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. D. Elkan, The
2. Biblical Violence
3. Been A Long Time Cousin
4. Republic Of Rough And Ready
5. 1-800-Ghost Dance
6. Brown Metal
7. Cafeteria Bananas
8. City Folk Sitting Sitting
9. Better Get A Broom!

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

-Spencer Seim / guitar
-Zach Hill / drums

Releases information

5 Rue Christine Records 61018
Released Mar 19, 2002.
Recorded at Toast Studios, San Francisco, CA

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HELLA Hold Your Horse Is ratings distribution


3.89
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
18%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HELLA Hold Your Horse Is reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hella's debut album is a statement to the world of Avant-Garde music. Until I heard this album, I never thought I would listen to such manic and insanely intricate and dissonant music, but now that I have, I think I am a better person. Hold You Horse Is shows the strengths of the two members of Hella. The drumming is fast, furious, and insanely complex. The guitars are dissonant, heavy, and all over the place. The music here is essentially video game music given a rather large dosage of anabolic steroids... the result? 34 minutes of pure mayhem, excitement, chaos, and most importantly, fun music. Who can enjoy such stuff? Not everyone, that's for sure. But for those who can find enjoyment in this music, you couldn't have done any better.

The D. Elkan opens the album with some very electronic, very video game like, music, it's a very misleading introduction, because after this 43 second track, the real fun starts. Biblical Violence begins the manic drum and guitar maelstrom. The riff on this one is a great ascending single note and chord progression with some terribly precise, almost Christian Vander-like, drums in the background. It's a nice introduction to the core sound of the album. During points of this album, you may think that there is bass guitar, but the fact of the matter is, that there is no bass on this album. Been a Long Time Cousin begins with a screeching guitar riff that quickly turns to a fast paced, manically charged tune that really takes shape rather quickly. The guitar breakdown is quite stunning, with some rather impressively quick playing on the part of Spencer Seim. There's a riff in this song that is quick brilliant too, a bit uplifting if you ask me, around the 2:30 mark.

Republic of Rough and Ready has essentially become a slogan for the group nowadays. The very muddy intro is complimented by some slower sections followed by mildly faster sections. It shows that Hella can play slower stuff, but there's a necessity for there to be faster stuff in between. It's also a prime example of how intricate the guitars can get, almost Robert Fripp on Fracture intricate, and what is there not to love about that? 1-800-Ghost-Dance begins with some great riffing and drumming, one of the best things they came up with for this album. In fact, this is my favorite song on the album. I love the trills in the beginning and the dissonant chords that follow. The guitar on this track can make even the most technical of guitarists cry for their mothers.

Brown Metal begins with a muffled guitar tone that blares rapid fire notes with some banging percussion in the background. The song takes final form towards the middle, when some well timed beeps and electronic sound effects bring in the precise and well timed snare beats. The drums finally kick in and the song comes full circle as it ends at the 3:54 mark. Cafeteria Bananas begins with some whooping noises and then some manic guitar and drums (as always, if you haven't noticed by now). It doesn't really go anywhere special and it sounds no different than many of the tracks on the album.

City Folk Sitting, Sitting is the longest song on the album, at a whopping 7:06. The song has a mellower feel in the beginning when compared to the rest of the album. An interesting riff carries the song along until around the first minute, when a very bass guitar like tone-wise riff comes into play. The song then becomes interlocking sections of chaos and more melodic (if there is any true melody at all) sections. Better Get a Broom! ends the album, and it really ends the album with a bang. A droning guitar beat and some manic breakdown sections and guitar/drum interplay is what you can find here. It ends the album in a completely fitting fashion, with many twists and turns until it finally ceases from life and you're left wondering what in the hell you just listened to.

Overall, Hella's debut album is a very strong opening effort for the Sacramento, California, duo. Between this and their next studio album, The Devil Isn't Red, they released many singles. This is a great place to start if you're just getting into Hella, though their best piece was yet to come, the dual disc and ambitious/adventurous Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard. But this album is no slouch, it's loads better than their sophomore effort, as that album seems to be almost exactly the same stylistically as this one. Overall, though, I have no real gripes except some of the songs tend to drag and sound very similar to one another. In the end, I give it a 4.5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#81605) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An absurdly complicated and laborious debut, Hella nails this first one with an impressive performance on these nine tracks. No frills here at all, instead drummer Zach Hill and guitarist Spencer Seim do what they've been doing for years on stage. This makes 'Hold Your Horse Is' much like the old blues recording sessions where a musician would just sit down, someone would hit a microphone and what was played was what you got-- pure, authentic and undecorated.

Mostly the music is an exercise in pattern building and John Nash numeric infatuations. Sanyo keyboard bleeps make an odd start but 'Biblical Violence' gets things going, Zach Hill a ravenous force on his drums, very hungry and very focused. And Spencer Seim reflects back the mathematics no problem. The two seem to have a psychic thing and often play as if they are indeed one person... you'd have to be, as to tolerate the relentless 'Republic of Rough and Ready' and '1-800-ghostdance'. 'City Folk Sitting, Sitting' is a near-epic seven minutes and the almost catchy 'Better Get a Broom' to close. These are players that appear to have been kicked in the head by a moose and are still able to calculate the value of pi, or at least attempt it. Scratchy, abrasive and rude, unwashed and stinky but overflowing with savant gifts, Hella somehow mange to keep it all alive and moving forward almost out of desperation. A band that makes you feel embarrassed to be staring at them, and a lot of fun.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#158212) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review by Sheavy
COLLABORATOR Progressive Electronic Team
5 stars There is not a single song on this record that I dislike. It is without a doubt loud, abusive on the ears, and completely lacking any sense of melody, and time signatures have been thrown out the window. This album to me is one of the greatest new prog masterpieces out there in a "new" category of prog. I find this much better in terms of just about everything musically to almost every new Neo-Prog band out there.

Anyway, I am done with that little side track. The muscianship by Zach Hill on drums is just crazy. He could probably keep up with any time signature you could dream up. He is one of the most underrated drummers and i have never seen him talked about by any Prog website or anything that does not really pertain directly to Math Rock. Spencer Seim on guitar is also extremely skilled at the guitar, and his skill sometimes gets overshadowed by Zach's.

The music is very demanding to listen to and to play, but I have a wierd thing for avant music and similar. The playing is immaculate and spot. it is like they can read each others mind, and even though the music may be very dissonant, the drums always go with the guitar and never do they sound at odds with one another.

I have to say I was surprised that this album was not in the top Math/Post Rock rateted, and even more surprised that it did not have many reviews and that it's rating was fairly low.

Out the new forms of Prog out there this cd is really a must have and I would recommend to anyone.

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Send comments to Sheavy (BETA) | Report this review (#468276) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Math rock outfit Hella deliver a wonderful debut with Hold Your Horse Is, with swift and intricate playing which takes on intriguingly playful tones, suggesting a sense of humour behind the music and fostering an emotional connection which is often lacking in math rock. Spencer Seim's intricate guitar work sees him tying himself in riffy knots whilst Zach Hill isn't so much keeping time as going off his own flights of fancies. An extremely stripped down lineup doesn't equate this time to threadbare recording standards, with the album being recorded in crystal clarity to capture every intricacy of their playing. Highly recommended even for those who usually find math rock a bit cold and distant.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#652192) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 09, 2012

Latest members reviews

2 stars This is not for me. Sure I do find interesting the fact that this is absolutely unusual, the great ability of Zach Hill, the incredible complexity of the music and everything else, but I just can't, and I really can't, enjoy this. This lacks any kind of melody, I can't feel any intensity in the m ... (read more)

Report this review (#236310) | Posted by JTP88 | Tuesday, September 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this is definitely their best cd that i have heard so far. i have heard concentration face homeboy and church gone wild. if you love insane drums, this is one of the best drummers, then check this out. if you love music that you cant find the meter to, then check this out. this is not for ever ... (read more)

Report this review (#78806) | Posted by master17 | Saturday, May 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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