Zach Hill / Mick Barr

Shred Earthship

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There's an interesting conflation of styles on Zach Hill's first album for the artsy Kill Rock Stars offshoot 5 Rue Christine. The album's title is Shred Earthship, and that part's dead on the money: forget the whole concept of hooks, melody, rhythmic complexity, all of that. This album is about one thing and one thing only: just how extreme Hill can get. But the majority of shred albums are wedded to lumbering, pedestrian metal rhythm sections, and that's where the 5 Rue Christine influence comes in here -- Hill's unhinged free jazz playing. Clearly improvised as one giant 77-minute performance and broken into 19 individually titled segments seemingly at random, Shred Earthship is where Derek Bailey and Yngwie Malmsteen meet.

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