California noisemaker Hella has prog-rocked it as a duo since 2001, but recently it has become a party of five. Guitarist Spencer Seim and drummer Zach Hill recruited Zach's cousin Josh on second guitar, then added bassist Carson McWhirter and singer Aaron Ross. Released in January, There's No 666 in Outer Space
is Hella's first record as a quintet and its first release for new home Ipecac. (Previous label 5 Rue Christine Records folded last year.) On 666
, Hella continues to churn out heavy, disjointed, bro-friendly jams, but with Ross's added voice (which sometimes evokes Alice in Chains's Layne Staley), the sound is now less experimental and more accessible. In other words, chicks will dig it.
Hella performs on Sunday, March 18, at the Proletariat, 903 Richmond, 713-523-1199.