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Rochester, New York's Hilkka are students in the Slint school of wandering, fractured guitar-driven indie rock. Their tightly woven mostly instrumental songs stretch through space like luminescent spider webs of sound. Nuuj Von Rock's guitar is always front and center, meandering from free jazz-style improvisations to tasty pop melodies to math rock aggression. Alex Schmidt's bass follows, heavy and subterranean, like the reflection of Rock's guitar parts in dark waters. Drummer Joe Tunis provides nervous, skittery rhythms as well as occasional Slint-like esoteric spoken word lyrical fragments.

Hilkka has been a force in the Northeast since the mid-'90s, sharing stages with numerous quality indie and math rock acts, appearing on compilations, putting out seven-inches and putting out a couple of full-lengths -- 1999's The Beautiful Aesthetician and 2000's Escalation/Objective. That latter effort includes the featured track, "I Think It's the Majic in Me." Hilkka is complex, difficult, powerful stuff that should appeal to fans of late '80s/early '90s Chicago and Louisville underground bands like Slint, Big Black, and Gastr del Sol, as well as to fans of Unwound.

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