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HILLS

Hills

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Hills Hills album cover
3.01 | 7 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Death 1 (5:15)
2. Istiklal Street (8:00)
3. You Talk The Talk! (6:15)
4. Rainship [Solregn] (11:49)
5. Ex Oblivione (4:13)
6. Schlaraffenland* (12:27)
7. Messias* (4:19)

Total Time: 52:18

*CD reissue only

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Hanna / drums, organ, xylophone, percussion, voices, african thumb-piano
- Kalle / guitar, bass, organ, flute, weird noises, vocals, Tanpura, Korg MS-10 synth, piano
- Pelle / guitar

Releases information

LP Intergalactic Tactics Records IGT001 (2009 SWE)
CD Sulatron Records st1002 (2010 Austria)

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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HILLS Hills ratings distribution


3.01
(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
14%
Good, but non-essential (57%)
57%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)
14%

HILLS Hills reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars HILLS' debut is relatively short, but still an eventful trip. Because they don't make any promotion (not counting the gigs) you need some luck to get in touch or really have to search for such a band, especially when you're outside of Sweden. Probably overshadowed by acts like First Band From Outer Space, The Spacious Mind, Darxtar or Oresund Space Collective to name only a few other similar genre bands all coming from that country. The HILLS members just play music together for fun, far away from any commercial goals ... and any limits equally.

This trio basically comprises the standard rock instrumentation guitar, bass and drums ... not exlusively though and so the first track Death 1 shows some charming laid back flute contributions by Kalle. This is a trippy one based on a deep hypnotic bass, but not completely mellow and silky - you will also detect rather creepy sounds plus voice samples on the other hand and an interesting nervous guitar acting in the background. Yeah, five minutes which have plenty to offer!

Istiklal Street now evolves as a cosmic adventure - the background music for a dangerous excursion through time and space with soaring and delayed guitars. The surprising aspect though follows when they suddenly turn into a heavier direction, once again forced by the powerful rhythm instruments. Ex Oblivione is a short outtake more in the vein of FBFOS where You Talk The Talk obviously includes early Kraftwerk (Ruckzuck) inspirations. Trippy grooving, connecting to the opening song, Rainship finally is the album's ultimate jam - an intriguing cocktail of meandering guitars, slightly eastern flavoured drones, musical box alike sounds, diverse samples.

HILLS offer psychedelic and spacey sounds provided with krautrock leanings and a rather experimental approach, an enjoyable blend of mellow, heavy and weird impressions. Hardly surprising, this album is nearly sold out in the meanwhile, but actually there is no intention for a re-issue. So if you add yourself to the fans of the aformentioned style(s) you should hurry up to reach for one of the rare vinyl exemplars - 3.5 stars.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hills are a psychedelic rock band from Sweden, comprised of the trio of Hanna, Kalle and Pelle who each play an assortment of instruments on the album. Intergalactic Tactics Records released this self-titled album in 2009 in a limited run of 300. I got to know this band through a recommendation in the Progressive Ears music forum. Having listened to the two tunes on their myspace, I was able to get the album from Kalle from the band for review.

An ominous bell announces the start of this mysterious journey, in the opening track, "Death 1", followed by a throbbing bass sound and soon the rest of the band. The style played, while sounding dated psychedelic rock, is quite appealing and alluring. That's a sense of danger and obscurity created by the music, enhanced by the contrast between the soft and enchanting sounding flute and the rawer guitar playing in the background. However, there is not much development in this first track and it goes on for several minutes and then ends. I'd have liked more progression of this theme and a buildup to something else. The second piece, "Istiklal Street", while starting in a confident and thematic manner, goes on to become an abstract affair, with sound guitar and bass sound effects creating loops and strokes of sounds. However, things get more structured towards the end of this piece, order resumes and the original theme returns. It is in fact quite haunting melody that is well enriched with the additional layering of the flute playing and solo guitar. "Ex Oblivione" starts abruptly with more psychedelic and spacey guitar ornamentation (a-la Pink Floyd, Meddle-era); there is no real melodic lead here, more of a mellow rhythmic pacing that gets slightly more powerful as it goes on. After the middle of this track, the melody becomes obvious as a voice hums to the music, with the guitar accompanying him. However, we are already at the end of this piece and it ends for some reason in a fade-out in the middle of the build-up. Again, I feel there was a chance to do more with this piece and the opportunity was missed. It could have been extended and developed further. "You Talk The Talk" opens with a piano, quickly joined by an alluring drumming pattern, which then develops into a full-lineup beautiful melodic theme. The bass provides a powerful backing up rhythmic pattern and the flute participates in this role as well. I feel this track is closer to what I'd like to hear from them; creating a theme and mood and then slightly developing it, adding layers, changing a bit the direction etc. The last track, "Rainship [Solregn]", is also the longest one on the album. It takes time to fully develop into the main theme, which is in fact a fast paced one. What I like about this track is the varied instrumentation used to embellish the music. The theme here, appropriately for a freak-out psychedelic session, doesn't change much and is a great listening experience. However, I'd have not put this track as the last one in the album; "You Talk The Talk" would have been better placed after it, but it's a minor point.

Hills is a fun album and as a psychedelic rock enthusiast I'm satisfied with it. But as I mentioned above, some of the tracks could use more longer playing time and additional development and build up. In particular, "Ex Oblivione" should not have been ended this way. There is great potential here and some of it is fulfilled (in parts of the tracks). I look forward to hearing more from the band in the future.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams
3 stars Can we call the side A and B as "dark side" and "clear side", respectively?

This is the debut album of HILLS, one of Swedish promising psychedelic bands. Their flexible play and delightful sound have much possibility that they will be a more brilliant gem in Psychedelic Progressive Rock scene. Although their play technique is slightly rough and dizzy, these sound touches can notify me they are still now developing more and more.

Absolutely each side should be the counterscape of another. The dark side is very dark - Death 1, which gets started with clear but a bit weird church bells, goes forward onto the dark hill, as if the song says the beginning of life should lead to the end, that is Death. Honestly for me their flexible session sounds very enjoyable ... only for me? Next Istikal Street knocks us with heavy riffs, rumbling echoes, quirky noises, and eccentric atmosphere. What should make them sick-designed? But on the last atage they come back to steady sticky heavy rock scene. The following Ex Oblivione, the shortest song with full impact in this album, is the most Oriental and enthusiastic one I feel as an Eastern.

Well on the contraside - You Talk The Talk is a very beautiful song, with a graceful electric piano solo and a dry fruity flute one, based on simply trippy piano repetitions. This moment can give us some safe and sound life surely. And the last wonderland Rainship, on that is very beautiful stream sounds, can flow beautifully and ethnically with an electric sitar on tribla soundscape. Guess they play their original psychedelia very pleasantly till the end.

Promising Swedish psychedelia is now a bity bitter but will be delicious in near future. Recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars HILLS are a relatively new Psychedelic / Space Rock band out of Sweden and this is their debut. I have to agree with Rivertree and avestin about the 3.5 star rating even if I wanted to bump it up I just can't do it. There's something missing I don't know what it is but this just hasn't clicked with me even though I like their sound and style. Maybe i'm just comparing it to some of my favourites from the genre which leaves this lacking somewhat. Good album though.

"Death 1" starts of with church bells before drums and bass take over. Keyboards, guitar and flute all come and go. "Istiklal Street" kicks into a heavy beat but it stops quickly as we get a psychedelic soundscape with spacey sounds that echo. It does kick in at 5 1/2 minutes and flute joins in a minute later. "You Talk The Talk !" opens with drums and piano that build. Flute after 1 1/2 minutes,guitar 3 minutes in. "Rainship (Solregn)" opens with water sounds, birds then clapping. Guitar plays in the background. It kicks in at 3 minutes.This is really good as they jam to the end.

"Ex Oblivione" is spacey with lots of atmosphere.The guitar is crying out at one point. A beat 3 minutes in as the sound gets fuller.The sad part is that this song seems to stop out of nowhere. It should have kept going because it seemed like they were just getting warmed up. "Schlaraffenland" has a heavy beat with guitar. It all sounds pretty good after 2 minutes as they jam. "Messias" builds quickly with a light beat, synths and distorted guitar.

As Damo says these guys have a promising career ahead of them, they just need to improve a few things. A good album anyway.

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