Zach Hill, ‘Astrological Straits’ (Ipecac)
On his solo half of Hella’s 2005 double album, Church Gone Wild/Chirpin’ Hard, drummer Zach Hill further explored the Mars Volta metal prog that Hella itself was slavishly pursuing. But the first album under his own name is stranger and more varied, a psychedelic/psychotic kaleidoscope worthy of early Animal Collective. Aided by multiple guests (Primus’ Les Claypool, Deftones’ Chino Moreno, No Age’s Randy Randall and Dean Spunt, Marnie Stern, others), Hill busts out frequent drum solos/fills, hitching them to gabba hoe-downs (“Toll Road”), psychedelic chorales (“Dark Art”), and math rock on steroids (“Uhuru”), with alien-transmission voices everywhere. May Hella once again follow his path.