Sunday, 10 November 2013

Discovery: Hell Oh! - Hell Oh!


Hell Oh! are a Brazilian quartet from the Provence of Lumiar, on the doorstep of Rio De Janeiro. You're asking: 'why does their exact location matter Eddie?' well I’ll tell you why... We seem to have a greater audience in Brazil than first thought, and we thank our dedicated Brazilian followers, re-paying them with reviews of Brazilian artists when the opportunity arises. Hell Oh! are part of the alternative music scene in Brazil, like their Curitiba country mates Subburbia, who are regularly featured here. It's all about breaking out of the mould, penetrating that alternative sphere and playing music how they like to. Hell Oh! are raw, and use what influence they can take from European and American music communities to enhance their own understanding and quality of the noise pop / indie rock music.


"Hell Oh!" is the self-titled, titular track from the quartet's debut EP. The band take their name from a lyric in this track (I'm presuming...) - lead vocalist and guitarist Raphael Heiderich da Cunha sings: "You say “Hello!” I say it so, I wanna be that thing you lose." Cunha's vocal style is very much like Nathan Williams' of Wavves, with a distinct effect added to make the voice sound croaky, more assertive. It also takes a turn down Franz Ferdinand lane, reminiscing the early days of Alex Kaprano and his upmost characteristic voice. The song structure and content is not too far off this Wavves / Franz Ferdinand seesaw either. Hell Oh! are the balancing, younger child in the middle, too small to get on. The four guitar chords used indicate a sense of punk, with the harmonic vocals in the background giving their titular track "Hell Oh!" a noise pop label. 

There's a straightforward structure here, with Hell Oh! utilising the four chord basis of the song in the opening segment. The first verse, yeah, decent enough, introducing the listener to the quartet’s surf rock / noise pop sound, then a standout guitar solo, which splits everything up - as the above video shows elegantly. The highlight is the lovely flowing second verse: "Come on let’s list the things we want to do, before and after we’re gone, please don’t forsake attitude, I wanna be that thing you choose." Cunha shows that singing in English, actually isn't that difficult for non-English speaking vocalists, he does it well. The message is loud and clear, as the reverse video plays in a crossing motion to the song, meeting at the middle during the solo. The actress, looking in to an object, hears Hell Oh! playing inside 'the box', as their lyrics suggest this half love / half exploring theme: "I’m sick of seeing a square world through windows."
~Eddie Gibson

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