Imagine a still oasis on a man-made Martian desert, saturated with rust and red clay. Gravity has shifted slightly, though the atmosphere is warm and dense, and everything around you is moving more slowly than you are used to. You’re just waking up to this world, a realm not entirely beyond your comprehension, but all the same, part of a new reality to contend with and romanticize. Chilean rock trio La Hell Gang’s second album Thru Me Again is the soundtrack to this strange new land.
Earning high praise from their debut, 2010′s Just What Is Real, La Hell Gang have traded in the cleaner, ’60s-indebted sonics which populated that record with something more complex, a murkier palate that instills these eight songs with languid mystery. Thru Me Again wades through these danger-infested waters with otherworldly grace, hanging back in the frame while their brand of laced blues wander fills the room with an unassailable vibe of concentrated lust. Providing a counterpart to the sounds of fellow travelers in their homebase of Santiago, such as Watchout! and Föllakzoid, Thru Me Again is the product of a band mastering its own language, and learning that the tender moments of their music can go as deep as their proverbial paint-peelers. You might be visiting this new world, but La Hell Gang lives there, knows every crater, all the flora and fauna, and have generously offered to take you on a journey of their architected existence. You would be wise to follow.