Much of the language that surrounds “Sweet Dear”–the first single from La Hell Gang’s newest offering, Thru Me Again–is about the desert, vast, hot and sandy. It’s a classification of psychedelia that’s appeared with the newer crop of “stoner” bands, a description that may have its roots in the literally desert-based stoner metal band Kyuss’s music. Sleep and Electric Wizard have since offered their dopey (not in the Seven Dwarves sense) cuts, but much of today’s pot-complementary music extends its influences back to the psychedelic high of the late 60s. There’s just something about it that feels consuming and incomprehensible and hot, something about it that’s desert-like. In other words, “desert rock” is actually an accurate description of a sound, and a particularly apt one in reference to La Hell Gang’s newest album.
Thru Me Again, the Chilean trio’s Mexican Summer debut, is a sprawling collection of eight reverb-steeped tracks, each pulling you into a successively deeper sonically-induced stupor. The album’s opener, “Inside My Fall”, slowly builds to a plateau as guitars and understated horns rest on a single chord for its three minute runtime, allowing the vocals to suck you into the vast space the record encompasses. Thru Me Again is vast not in its use of instrumentation (see: Swans’ The Seer and To Be Kind), but in the negative space La Hell Gang creates through simple instrumental arrangements and chord progressions. Good examples of this are the down-tuned slow drift of “Her Way Has Come” or the cloud-like “Everywhere I Go”.
A psychedelic turn from the traditional rock of 2009’s Just What Is Real, Thru Me Again finds La Hell Gang shooting for a broader sound, not in palatability but in the abstract geography that sound seems to conjure. From the space-y pop of “Sweet Dear” to the noisy freak-out that engulfs “Last Hit”, Thru Me Again is a record that gives you the space to think deeply or lose yourself completely.
Full Album Stream Has Ended.
Thru Me Again is out now via Mexican Summer.