The Ladies - They Mean Us (2006)
The Ladies are a project combining the cephalopodic drumming skills of Zach Hill from Hella and the chameleon songwriting skills of Rob Crow from Pinback and a billion other bands. I have read alot of reviews where people are saying this sounds like a combination between Hellas mathy bursts of prog rock and and Pinbacks mellifluous prog-pop. I can agree on one thing, that "prog" (or progressive, as it were) is a definite touchstone, but I cant really agree that this has any relation to Pinback other than the fact that Rob Crow does all the singing. The music, while remaining propelled by Zachs ridiculous drumming skills, is far more reminiscent of Rob Crows previous output as Heavy Vegetable or his solo work recorded under his name. If you happen to have enjoyed any of Rob Crows albums then you will find much to love here. On the other hand, I am not much a fan of Hella other than a minor interest and the respect I have for the musicians involved, but I am willing to bet fans of Hella will enjoy the album too. Seriously, Zach is incredible and I think hes even better and more unpredictable than Damon Che of Don Caballero. Zachs drums rest at the forefront of much of the album with a few tracks falling into strictly Hella territory but its Robs song writing prowess that keeps all the songs afloat with solid melodies and his great singing voice. The final track "Mandatory Psycho-Freakout" is a great closing and hopefully points the way to more collaborations between these two musicians.
You can find out more about the band on their labels website, Temporary Residence Limited, home to Explosions in the Sky, Eluvium, Grails and Mono