Aina Haina is a Portland-based "power duo," whatever that means. On the front of the CD is a sticker that claims "Better than the new Van Halen." I can assure you that this is not true, and I didn't care much for the new Van Halen in the first place.

This is a CD, but they split it up into "Side A" and "Side 2." Side A is nearly unmemorable. The saving grace for the first side is the ballad "I Can't Feel You Anymore." This is because the continuously slow pace was welcome since it's a ballad. For the other two tracks on Side A are full of recycled blues riffs and the same uninspired slow pace. I understand the want sometimes of a minimalistic band, but this is just downright boring.

"Merisel" was my favorite track since the slow nature of the plodding-along rhythm wasn't a terrible thing. It goes along with the heavy chord progression that sounds like something from a Ghost song. The chorus is catchy, and I liked the use of the talkbox to offer up some diversity.

I wish more of their songs sounded like "Foolin' Around" (but of course a little rhythmic diversity would be nice). I really enjoyed this track, the chorus has a great vocal hook and the guitar compliments it very well with full, arpeggiated chords.

If you're looking for a big-sounding, exciting release like Japandroid's Celebration Rock, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for heavy, bluesy rock with no frills and a minimal approach, this band is worth checking out. I really wanted to enjoy this band, but you could teach the drum parts to a 10 year old and the lack of variation in that sense really turned me off. Some quicker paces at some points could have really helped bring the songs to a high point that was never seen during the record.