hrswhip “Vindictiveness” (Self-Released)
hrswhip is the project of Dave Secretary who has been in bands like Van Johnson and Black Actors. Vindictiveness was written in early 2007 and recorded in a short summer session in the basement of a church in Ottawa, Canada. One of the reasons that I love instrumental music is the listener takes whatever they feel is being conveyed through the music. Perhaps it was the artist’s intention or perhaps not. But, it is all there for the listener to interpret.
Vindictiveness seems like an entirely appropriate title for hrswhip’s debut album. The production is calculated and rough. There is an anger and malice that seeps from the pores of these songs. That production allows those things to come out a little dirtier in the end. Comparisons to instrumental juggernauts like Oxes are entirely appropriate. However, hrswhip gladly shed any wanky stylings in favor of a more direct approach.
While hrswhip does experiment with different tempos and dynamics, much of Vindictiveness is propelled by a frantic energy. Secretary does keep things interesting though. The slower-paced songs like “Organs, Hypnosis” and “Dead Heroes” are hypnotic in the way they corral the listener’s attention. There are some vocal additions to “Dead Monster” which provide a nice change of pace and fit remarkably within the hectic framework of the song. Vocals appear again on the epic closer, “Anxiety Out.”
The scope at which Secretary approaches these songs is certainly impressive. When you consider this is the work of just one man, well that is just mind-blowing. Vindictiveness often teeters close to sensory overload for the listener. But, there is an incredible balance that hrswhip is able to strike here. As the eight minute “Anxiety Out” confidently closes out Vindictiveness, it becomes apparent that the listener is witnessing the birth of something tremendous.
hrswhip – All Ball