Zach Hill is no stranger to collaborations and side projects. I don't think Zachary Nelson (Hexlove) is either, but I'm not as familiar with his discography. Anyway, here's a group featuring the two of them, as well as a guest appearance by a Zachariah (Dellorto Blackwell, of Danava).
Hella's first couple records still slay, and I quite enjoyed Hexlove's 2 disc opus "Your Love Of Music Will Be An Important Part Of Your Life" from last year. I'm not quite sure that these are two great tastes that taste great together, though. Hill seems to have to dial down his manic drumming a bit in order to fit with Nelson's post-Animal Collective compositions. It reaches a comfy groove a few times, but it seems like both parties are reaching a bit out of their comfort zone.
Still, their experiments yield some results that are nothing if not interesting. A few tracks have a robotic future pop sound I wouldn't have expected from them. The band's self-titled track seems to be entirely electronic. I'm intrigued by the sort of grindy drum groove in tracks like "Tales From The Crypt"; it seems like an odd, unique approach at pop songcraft from people normally associated with more experimental realms. Having said that, the 8-minute freakout of "Now Then And When" still comes as a welcome release from some of the more restrained moments of the disc.
So there's really no way around it: Chll Pll sounds unmistakably like a side project. Even for "experimental" artists, it sounds more like an experiment than a proper artistic statement; odd, given that it's also trying to be more accessible than some of their other works. 6/10 -- Paul Simpson (17 February, 2010)