The Hedgehogs

The Heights

Written by: BV on 16/05/2013 20:37:42

On the newest release by The Hedgehogs it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are finding a great deal of inspiration in bands like Gnod as well as label-mates Troldmand, as they are evolving into a far more improvisational band than what my initial impression of them was. It is therefore with a sense of wonder, and slightly mixed feelings, I have ventured into this far out improvisational release by The Hedgehogs called “The Heights”.

As you may or may not have guessed already, “The Heights” consists of improvisational jams of varying lengths – the shortest spanning approximately 3 minutes while the longest easily exceeds a runtime of 10 minutes. With the opening track “Astral Projections” The Hedgehogs seem to do exactly what I feared the most. They venture into a drawn out jam that, albeit bountiful of cool sounds, comes off as unnervingly untight and anti-climactic, since it seems like the band is trying to hone in on what each member is trying to do with this jam without ever really getting on the same wavelength.

This however, might also have to do with the length of the jam as they seem to fare much better on the shorter jam “The Cosmic Gnod”, which kicks off with a delightfully fuzzy bassline that remains as a solid foundation for the numerous guitar solo-sounds and cool drum fills to expand over – thus showing the improvisational talent that The Hedgehogs actually possess.

While they still have a long way to go before having the same improvisational prowess of Papir or Electric Moon, the release still comes off as a ‘step in the right direction’ if you will, where The Hedgehogs are carefully demonstrating that they can write catchy garage-ish tunes, as well as full-on, psychedelic, improvisational onslaughts.

On the final track of the release, “Guadalajara”, The Hedgehogs come off as confident in their improvisational skills and muster one final, lengthy jam that showcases some echo-soaked and reverb-drenched sounds as well as some mighty fine drumming. The bass once again takes my focus as the mildly fuzzy sound of it is as hypnotic and enthralling, as it is steady.

As the release comes to an end, I can’t really figure out if this is the ‘right’ thing for The Hedgehogs to be doing – I mean, they certainly know how, and that’s fine and all. But somehow I just feel like something is missing. Perhaps I am missing the sound of the pop-sensitive garage-psych band that The Hedgehogs used to be. But, if they continue to develop in this direction I am quite confident that they might be able to compete with the likes of Gnod, Troldmand and perhaps even Papir. All in due time however, as this release showcased promise but never fully delivered.

Download: Guadalajara, The Cosmic Gnod, Sol
For The Fans Of: Troldmand, Electric Moon, Papir

Release Date 20.05.2013
Levitation Records

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