THAT Hyaa! has a name both unpronounceable and typographically troublesome seems somehow appropriate. Much about this first-rate local trio is inconvenient -- from its genre-busting punk-art-folk-rock hybrid to its refusal to pretend that its new self-pressed disc has a label or even a serial number -- but that disc, "Get Your Hyaa-Hyaas Out!," is worth all the bother. It's one of the best local records so far in a year in which D.C. bands have already been quite fruitful on vinyl.
Tense, edgy and yet often starkly beautiful, Hyaa!'s music is as icy and dramatic as a stroll across a glacier field. Produced with unusual restraint by North Carolina pop guru Mitch Easter, "Hyaa-Hyaas" captures that sound faithfully, if sometimes a bit flatly. The jokey tunes sung by bassist Les Doerfler don't always mesh with such stately Alice Despard melodies as "Sun Go Black" and "Dylan Cowsleeve," but even on the record's slightest cuts the two harmonize exquisitely. And on the best -- "Valhalla," "Kingdom Kum" -- the album is as formidable as any fan of the band's live performances could have imagined.
HYAA! -- "Get Your Hyaa-Hyaas Out!" Appearing Saturday at d.c. space.