Review: Hisko Detria “Mal Du Siècle”

Review: Hisko Detria “Mal Du Siècle”

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Hisko Detria “Mal Du Siècle”
Svart Records

The current incarnation of Hisko Detria have been around since 2010, but our paths have only just crossed for the first time. When their album came up for review I did a quick search via You Tube and found possibly the greatest cover version of all time. Hisko Detria jamming the ass off of the Canned Heat classic, On The Road Again, for over 14 fucking minutes. And that was it, I was hooked.

The Canned Heat track was originally released in 1970, and that’s the era where these crazy Finns take me back to. The opening number, Vitamin E is a fallout from the 60s and provides a psychedelic tinged groove to get down to, before it drifts off into another form of drug ravaged trip.

And I think this album will be one that split opinions, not just on where to place these cool cats, but also on their differing styles.

I’m a big fan of their hippier material. Some will call it Krautrock. For me, it’s Neil Young circa the late 60s, early 70s and I’m reminded of the likes of Cowgirl In The Sand, Down By The River and possibly the tonal brilliance of the Harvest album. The band also let rip on some solos that just go on and on, just like my favourite California based Canuck. Mix that in with the Space Rock of Hawkwind, and that’s the side of Hisko Detria that I love.

The downside, is the bands experimental edge, with special attention given to the mental bit. I have no idea what to call it. Proggy, Jazzy, tuneless… You take your pick. It’s like some of the hipster shit from the 70s. Maybe early Talking Heads, but with a punkier edge. Whatever you want to call it, I’m not a fan.

And for me, it spoils the album. It’s like the band have decided that they’re too commercial, so we’ll fuck with everyone’s heads.

Even the last track, the epic almost 19 minute Sugar Hills splits my opinion right down the middle. It starts off pretty laidback and you feel like kicking back on a lazy sunny afternoon. But around the nine minute mark, the mood begins to change. Some Indian style chanting begins and then that goes off into what I can only describe as the musical equivalent of a 1 year old kid drawing their 1st masterpiece. It’s all over the place and makes no sense to anyone, bar its creator.

If the band decide to stop dicking around, they could be amazing. But the freeform leanings just kill it dead for me… so one to approach with caution as it infuriates me as much as it delights me.

But whatever you do, check out the Canned Heat cover version.

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