As far as first impressions go, it’s difficult to discern exactly where Ink Mathematics was heading with its EP Huia. Crafted with a superior sense of musical aesthetic compared to current post-grunge bands, but lacking the vigor and enthusiasm put out by music’s more spastic darlings (see: Glass Jaw, Norma Jean, and Fear Before), Huia falls somewhere between intense fortitude and willful drudgery.
Take for example the opener, “Solid Gold Cataract” with its sludgy guitars and harsh mix of screamed and yelled vocals. The song purposefully lacks dynamics and drags the listener through mud for what seems like much longer than two minutes. It’s laborious; it’s intensive; and it encapsulates the whole EP. But though Huia is nothing short of abrasive for the first few listens, the damn thing does eventually grow on you.
Every song offers something different. “Hula” reminds of ‘80s doom pop with elements of shoe gaze. At times the lead singer Matt Hoffman sounds like Joshua Homme from Queens Of The The Stone Age. The song contains a memorable instrumental breakdown you don't want to miss around the two minute mark.
“Chewing Scenery” exhibits an At the Drive-in-inspired verse with plenty of noise at the finish and the last minute of “Lot Lizard” ends the EP on a high note with its cacophony of guitar banging. Each song is drained of melody, leaving a chasm of droning noise for the listener to absorb. And the vocals—screeching, whining, yelling, growling and screaming—do everything but sing.
For those who drop in to this site regularly, Huia might remind you of a poor man’s Our Rich Heritage by Solid Brown. It’s aggressive, bombastic and drills itself into your head. Check it out.
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