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The Hÿss – Extraterrestrial

The Hÿss
by Dave Nowels at 27 May 2020, 4:10 PM

THE HŸSS return in 2020 for their follow-up to 2019's “Hound”, titled, “Extraterrestrial”. As I began researching for this review, I began to recognize some of the things I was seeing, information that seemed familiar and started ringing some bells in my admittedly questionable memory banks. The reason things seemed familiar was I actually also review the “Hound” back at it's release, rating it a strong 8/10. It's always interesting to be afforded the opportunity to revisit a band for their subsequent efforts. Will they live up to my previous accolades, falter or perhaps excel? Let's take a look.

A little background first. THE HŸSS are a Chicago based Stoner styled band (Chi-town is really fostering that type of band these days!), that incorporate a Punk-ish underbelly. Back on my review of “Hound” I championed the band's aggressive, in your face approach, but just wished there was more of it. For whatever that's worth, I find that they've done just that here on “Extraterrestrial”. The release is an EP, a 5 song, 21 minute assault on your senses, that leaves you wishing there was more. The previous album was also an EP, so it does leave you wondering if they'll ever put together a full length. Who knows, but with “Extraterrestrial”, they've put together another solid EP, and ultimately that's all that matters.

Things start banging with the album's title track, which immediately sets a high mark. The riff here is fairly standard, but there's a cool Star Trek theremin vibe that mind melds it's self in and out of the riff. Lyrically, I love the energy and Sci-Fi tie-ins. “Sit back and watch the world burn down!”, and a chorus shout of “Extraterrestrial” that seems perfect for building a resounding live energy among audiences. That is if we ever get back to normalcy. “Disco Frankenstein” follows up, fuzzing things up a bit more and slowing the pace a bit, but never losing momentum. Be aware, nobody wants to dance with a chainsaw-handed Frankenstein. That's just how it is these days. Regardless, the one-two punch that opens the album is certainly well executed.

Next up is a slow building bluesy rager, “In Shadows” which early on identified as my favorite track. The fact that the song is apparently a tribute to John Prine, one of the best songwriters of all time, is an unexpected revelation. Just goes to show great songs have no boundaries. “Panther Slide” is up next, and like “Disco Frankenstein”, is a reworked and updated song from the band's 2017 demo recording, “For God Snakes”. Another in your face, fuzz adrenalized Doomy rocker that like the title track, shows a band maturing and evolving. Always a good thing. The album closes with the same energy it began with, “Wolf Spider” like everything before it, hits the mark right where it should. Bottom line, from the groovy album cover that incorporates every song, to the simply bad-assed tunes within, THE HŸSS have returned with another substantial beast of an EP. Definitely a band to check out and keep tabs on. You never know what they'll do next, but I certainly am looking forward to it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

1. Extraterrestrial
2. Disco Frankenstein
3. In Shadows
4. Panther Slide
5. Wolf Spider
Dave Fitzgerald – Guitars,Vocals
Pat Kennedy – Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
Matt McDonald - Vocals
Mike Scales - Drums
Bill Sullivan - Bass
Chris Walsh – Guest Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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