Hills: Alive at Roadburn (Rocket Recordings, 2017)

June 30, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hills: Alive at Roadburn

Swedish psych explorers Hills (not to be confused with White Hills, who are far more prolific) present an album recorded at the infamous Roadburn festival, held every April in the Netherlands. All four tracks come within a minute or two of 15 minutes, and they don’t take long to launch into mystical heavy grooves. At times it sounds like there’s tamburas droning away along with the distorted guitars, and hints of desert melodies or rhythms. Also, while some of the group’s previous work was instrumental, this one has shamanistic vocals which seem possessed by a dark spirit (at least on the opening track “National Drone”). “Master Sleeps” has a very entrancing rhythm and ends up with some head-spinning patterns of echoed wah-wah guitar. At the end of the set, someone in the band remarks that they were supposed to play 6 songs but they only had time for 4, indicating how heavily engrossed the band are when they’re playing music.

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