Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 09/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"hilt, Orange Pony (Nettwerk, 1991)
Orange Pony is a kind of redheaded stepchild in the hilt oeuvre; two new tracks with guest musician Ryan Moore of the Legendary Pink Dots, both of which are quite fun ("Orange Pony" sticks with the pop sensibilities they showed briefly on Call the Ambulance, while "Green Love" is almost an extended, full-vocal version of CTA's "Jah Mon Rasta" without the steel drums), and two songs that, if the liner notes are to be believed, would have had to have been originally performed by Key and Nelson's old punk band, Illegal Youth (and if that's the case, calling Illegal Youth a punk band is a serious misnomer). "Yellow Sunshine" is a meandering ambient track with what sounds like a very drunk and/or drugged-out Nelson mumbling over top. It bleeds into "White Stuff," a piercing noise track. hilt (or Illegal Youth, as 'twere) approached noise, it seems, the same way they approached everything else: with complete and total artlessness. This ain't Merzbow, but it ain't junk rock, either. It's some sort of weird melding of the two with a couple of dashes of powerelectronics-era Nurse with Wound thrown in for good measure. (Note that if the track really was recorded in 1978, it predates both of those bands AND the junk rock genre.)
Given that it's even more diverse, despite the abbreviated number of tracks, than their Call the Ambulance... CD, one would expect it to have the same reaction. But the inherent catchiness of the title track may help somewhat in converting your sheltered friends to a life of hilt appreciation. ****"