After Westend 10″ and Wild Honey LP, this particular release will be the last Hella Comet album I will talk about this week. So far, everything I heard from this Austrian noise-rock trio sounds divine, so I was curious to hear more. Locust Valley is their most recent, if not the latest full-length album, released in 2017 via Noise Appeal Records. They also published a couple of singles after that, like turf and UMPteeeeeee. Locust Valley also comes with artsy cover artwork. This time, Hella Comet picked a much more contemporary art approach by implementing abstract visuals on the front and back sides of the record sleeve. Therefore, this record will simultaneously treat your eyes and ears.
Locust Valley includes ten flawlessly performed noise rock compositions that might appeal even to those listeners who’re into much heavier music genres. Soundwise, this is still a noise-rock record, but Hella Comet uplifted their style on an entirely new level. Soundwise, the foundations of their sound are still there, and genres like noise-rock and shoegaze still dominate the most. However, everything seems much heavier and more aggressive than in their previous recordings. Hella Comet thoroughly planned everything, so you’ll hear some other ingredients like sludge, grunge, post-hardcore, post-rock, dream pop, and alternative lurking throughout the entire album. Like on their previous releases, each instrument plays a significant role in shaping the sound, but the vocals are in the spotlight. So, you’ll notice their soothing, cathartic, melodic side, even with all the instruments drenched in generous amounts of fuzzy distortion.
The band thought about merging profoundly abrasive riffs with much calmer chord progressions, melodies, themes, and other sonic delicacies. These sonic maneuvers perfectly suit the robust rhythm section, based upon similarly distorted low-end tones and energetic drumming acrobatics. Hella Comet have also put so much effort into constructing these songs. You’ll notice that each composition has perfect arrangements enhanced with many accentuations, decorations, improvisations, and other details that define only the best noise rock albums. The thick layer of studio reverb contributes to a cave-like ambiance. This clever move contributes even more heaviness to these songs and unquestionably works in favor of the entire album. Locust Valley is their best work so far, and it clearly showcases the progress of the band that lurks the Austrian underground scene for more than a decade. This record is available as a part of the Hella Comet vinyl bundle, so head to Noise Appeal Records for more information about ordering.
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