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hreda - minnows/dead horses

Live Music Scene

I may have missed something obvious here but in trying to work out what the name means there were only three possibilities I could think of. The first was that Hreda is a town in the Czech Republic, the second that someone mistyped ŌheardÕ somewhere and thought it was as good a name for a band as any. The third possibility, after putting the name into Google, is that they are named after the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. Well I hear that since those pesky Romans curbed their imperialistic tendencies the Hampton crew have paved the way when it comes to road technology. ItÕs quite reasonable to believe that they could be honoured in musical form. Anyway, letÕs talk about the music for a second shall we?
The genre broadly referred to as Post-rock contains a number of bands who produce some truly spellbinding albums. The two best known of these are probably Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, although JapanÕs Mono stake a more than worthy claim to their throne and This Will Destroy You were responsible for possibly one of the best live performances IÕve ever witnessed at ExeterÕs Cavern last year. Well Hreda make music of a similar ilk but with a hint of math-rock tendencies Š they are from Oxford after all. Yep, thereÕs plenty of beautiful trigonometry in the Alexander Tucker-like interwoven melodies of ŌMinnowsÕ and the b-side ŌDead Horses.Õ Did you know that Dead Horse is Aussie rhyming slang for tomato ketchup? Never mind. ŌMinnowsÕ is over seven minutes in length but if it was twice as long it would still hold the attention of the listener. Thunderous drums, floating guitar and not a single unwelcome vocal intrusion make this music to get truly lost in. At its finest, post-rock paints a picture of the musicians locked into a mutual acid trip and walking as one through the doors that are opened up in their brains. On current evidence IÕd say that Hreda really are that good. If you enjoy post-rock then youÕll love this. If you donÕt then why not? ItÕs brilliant.
There will be a single launch on 6th September at BristolÕs Cube cinema with live music from Hreda and others and plenty of visuals. Sounds pretty unmissable to me and so IÕll certainly do my best to be there. Meanwhile they are touring pretty extensively throughout the UK over August and September. Is it only a matter of time before we see them at ATP festival?
(Dave Urwin)

Collective Zine
Sept 2009

Like that Talons band I reviewed, this press release has a list of similar bands that this band has played with. I always consider these sort of things a bit unnecessary and showy-offy but what the hey. This is soon to be released on 7Ó by Ingue records and IÕd be quite interested to see how they fair up on vinyl considering the length of their songs (quite long, but then again this is Ōpost-rockÕ). This isn't a particularly bad release as far as this sort of thing goes. I mean, post-rock has been done to death a bit now but this is quite fresh I guess. The first track Š ŌMinnowsÕ Š is a lot better than the B side ŌDead HorsesÕ. Quite twinkly and surprisingly they donÕt rely too heavily on delay pedals. Hitting one note, then waiting ten minutes to hit another. Blah. So yeah, thumbs up for that. The second track I found a bit boring but it is a B side I suppose. They kinda remind me of early Mogwai, If These Trees Could Talk and some of the instrumental sections off of the Low Level Owl album by Appleseed Cast. The cdr I have has a JPEG of the band but every time I try to click on it my computer breaks. To MySpace! This isn't too bad Š a so-so-better-than-most new post-rock bands release.
(Danny Parsons)

die shell suit, die!
Sept 2009

So rare is it to find a sound as full as that displayed by Hreda, then take into account that this is only a 3 pronged attack, a trio of members and well, the awe meter fills right up.
Musically and, I suppose, ideologically Hreda stomp in the same ground as Explosions in the Sky, Grails and Mountains. Their oneiric blend of stratified guitar and pummelling rhythm transcend all these post-rock stalwarts and carve a new gulley the likes of Mogwai (in their more blissful moments) and Red Sparowes would shed skin for.
Highly commended, dazzling and reposeful - ignore Hreda at your own peril.
(Jon Buckland)

Mar 2009

In a similar manner that records by virtuoso turntablist will never quite replicate the visceral experience of a club set, home listening of one-man Worcester post-rock machine Theo’s output will likely always play second fiddle to his impressive live set up. Nevertheless, ‘Encouragement’, a soundtrack to two short films, bristles with looped magic that has led to Theo’s name being whispered in cult reverence among the instrumental guitar music fraternity. Opener ‘Invested In Defence’ sends tingles up spines, building layer upon layer with the dynamics of Battles, until the results swirl around your head; only the vaguely punch-less drums are less than mesmerising. ‘Fortress’ meanders more, and though ‘Gallant’ never quite delivers on its anticipation construction, as it disappears into the ether, one pressing question remains: with music this emotive, why doesn’t every other film - from shorts to blockbusters - employ a post-rock score?
(Adam Anonymous)