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Husky Loops – Husky Loops (EP Review)

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Italian born three-piece, Husky Loops present a study in order and chaos, with paradoxical invention and a whole load of art school aesthetic.

Everyone loves a good paradox. There’s a giddying sensation whenever you try and deconstruct such seemingly strange questions like – why does it get dark at night when there are billions of stars in our galaxy? Or, how is it possible that by adding an infinite number of values together it’s still possible to get a finite result? Typically, such questions appear paradoxical but can ultimately be explained – in such cases, what we perceive as a paradox is often just something that, despite the mountains of logic in opposition, is often just difficult to grasp first time round.

Enter Husky Loops – a band, who to all intents and purposes, are both Schrodinger’s very alive and (equally) very dead cat. Here, however, one cat is abrasive, with splatterings of modulated chaos and the other is such the embodiment of robotic order you could set your atomic clock by it. Clever cat(s).

Opening track, ‘The Man’ starts a calm and steady journey with a looped piano sample, gradually accompanied by a robotic bass groove. It’s all very ethereal and laid back until we reach the halfway point. Here, staccato guitars bust in to mirror the rhythm, breaking the sense of calm, and creating a slight unease. It’s like you’ve suddenly become aware of the transfer of energy in the soundwave between the speaker and your ear – you can feel the discomfort of it. But, what ‘The Man’ does brilliantly is how it sets itself up as a chilled groover – concealing the paradoxical beast of chaos and order within its reverberant yet pleasant loops.

The aptly named ‘Tempo’ is where the real intent of the record becomes apparent. The whole rhythm section is so tightly bound together, it’s like Pietro (drums & samples) and Tommaso (bass) were raised by a metronome. However, it’s not all about order – the ripples in the fabric of Husky Loops’ space-time comes in the form of guitarist and vocalist Danio. He’s the gravitational pull. The black hole. The singularity – bringing modulated chaos to proceedings. His voice is a wave of elongated syllables riding over the rhythm section, while his guitar creates small spikes of disturbance. It’s a journey from Aphex Twin to Soulwax to Queens Of The Stone Age in 2 minutes and 47 seconds.

After a short outro/interlude at the tail end of ‘Tempo’, we move in to ‘Fighting With Myself’. It’s another example of the conflict between order and chaos – the bass and drums push the track along with such precision, rarely wavering from the set pattern, while it falls to Danio to break the symmetry, again. While not as imposing as ‘Tempo’, it still manages to strike a level of unease before revealing one last surprise – an explosion of acceleration, shifting out of symmetry – if only for one moment…

And then we end where it all began, with the band’s first single, ‘Dead’. Released at the end of 2016, it’s very much the point of origin and the epicentre of the Husky Loops ‘Big Bang’. Tomasso’s bassline grooves over Pietro’s typically tight drumming – it’s a bit less ordered but no less successful. Danio, on the other hand, lays down his best Brian May impression with an insanely catchy yet intricate guitar part. There’s also a great contrast between verse and chorus – verses roll along, featuring an ominous backing vocal of ‘dead, dead, dead…’, before the overdrive kicks in for a wonderfully heavy and over modulated chorus. There’s also (another) ‘one last surprise’ as the track abruptly turns into a chaotic jam session – It’s unexpected, yet totally befitting.

Husky Loops EP is an exciting and engrossing debut release from one of Vulture Hound’s Must Hear Bands of 2017. It’s a portrait of how order and chaos can work so well together – and while the world still grapples with all things unanswered, it could do a lot worse than look to this trio for some inspiration.

Husky Loops EP is out now on Alcopop! Records.