HUEY is a Brazilian band that channels an amalgam of weighty influences in an instrumental sound that sometimes hits you in the face, and at others seems to cherish your skin. And this is possible, not only but mainly, because of the vast range of music references that the quintet assimilates. We’re talking about five friends who have been a part of the underground for a whole lotta of time – since the early 1990’s at least. They are people who have always been true to themselves, even back in that time when to be true would mean that you should follow some idiotic rules of the scene. But don’t expect that kind of trivial truism here: what you find in Huey’s music is the real deal made by guys who don’t shy away from music ranging from Napalm Death to Fugazi, and a lot of other rock variations in between (like Rush, Neurosis, Black Sabbath, Mastodon and Deftones). There’s also some hints of Queens of the Stone Age, and that’s what gives Huey a kind of pop appeal without losing their heavy authenticity. If you pay attention, there’s even a bluesy feeling to their music. It’s something like post metal raised over intricate layers of sounds.
Their most recent effort MA – a Japanese expression that is used to design a space or pause between two things (in this case, maybe the four years since the first full length called Ace) – crowns that desire to coagulate different sorts of rock’n’roll into something that sounds strong and shows that it’s possible be eclectic and interesting at same time.
When I listen to MA I feel a need to scream desperate lyrics over the songs. Not that the tracks demand vocals – they have their own power without any voice, but it’s so catchy that my mind kind of wants to interact with those themes. MA is an album planned to be artistically enjoyable, from the beautiful cover with a tiger on a red background to the polite and efficient production held by Steve Evetts (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sepultura, The Cure).
The track list kind of sums up a day in the life of a big metropolis (São Paulo, where the band comes from) and could be the soundtrack to a life filled with tension, pollution, noise, aggravation and hope that the next day will be better. This feeling occurs because the songs take you by the hand on a ride in a place where dichotomy is a relevant part of the whole thing: we have pretty but sometimes nervous guitar riffs (Huey have three guitarists and use the combination very well), catchy but outrageous bass lines and drums that can beat with your pulse or like thunder on the horizon.
You should reserve time to listen to the whole record, preferably looking out a window that allows you to contemplate the dynamics of a city. But if you ask me for standouts, I suggest you listen to the heavy opening track “Inverno Inverso,” the captivating and abrupt single “Wine Again,” the intense “Pei” and the roller coaster of smooth and hard melodies, “Fogo Nosso.”