Jack and Meg may've made the rock 'n' roll duo a marketing angle as synonymous with back-to-basics fashion as faux-distressed denim or carefully-coiffed haircuts, but in the avant-gardist rock underground, there's long been a host of post-metal/prog-core pairs knocking out powerful sound, from beloved Japanese gents Ruins through to American outfits like Godheadsilo and Lightning Bolt. Lighting Bolt are probably the best measuring shtick for Californian heroes Hella, even though LB's fuzzed-out power-rock is about slabs of monolithic sound, where Hella's rattling pseudo-out-of-control controlled chaos is about movement so restless and relentless that it seems almost brittle. The Californian combo's post-metal/new-metal noise plays out at virtuosic speed with vicious intensity, like some unforgiving riffing at the extremities of their chops, this maestro-ish masturbatory monstrosity blessed with the swiftest of artistic wrists. As Zach Hill keeps beats to the beat of hummingbird wings on drums, Spencer Seim's arcing guitar-lines oscillate between classic-metal-esque solos and bursts of atonal noise-guitar squall; and often this oscillation seems to bare scant regard to what Hill is actually doing. There are often times, on their third record, that Hella seem more a fractured marriage than ever, their duo a musical communion that's more side-by-side than symbiotic. This runs against the romantic idea of a rock 'n' roll duo, which easily lends itself to notions of symbiosis, of two so in tune with and reliant on each other their union is an essential one, and this is an idea easily applicable to couples whose off-the-court relationships are brother/sister or husband/wife (or some variation thereon). But most of the time Hella seem like a duo in which two separate entities are dueling for space, locked in a struggle, with these combatants coming across moments of compositional harmony through coincidence, not synchronicity. Not compromising themselves with anything like traditional song-form, they are each free to be their own man, incongruity be damned. And, so, then, it's no surprise that The Devil Isn't Red finds, at times, Hella soaring high, into the sky, like an eagle (etc.), only to, at other times, sound more like two men on the ground, wrestling for possession of a remote control.