Tuesday 17 December 2019

Horsewhip - Self-Titled LP

Labels: Financial Ruin (distributed via Dead Tank Records)
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 14 Sept 2018


1. Aver
2, Funeral Circus
3. Dropping Out
4. Dirt Bag
5. Spill
6. The Road
7. Fires

Tonight is one of those evening's where you think you've already reviewed something but you actually haven't! I'm pretty embarrassed too because back in September I interviewed drummer Alex Bond as part of my Mental Health In Music series. I'm way more organised with this than I ever used to but then again, I've still got someway to go. Anyway, as nobody ever reads my rambling lets get onto what's important. For those who don't know, Horsewhip is a quartet from Florida (USA) that's made up of some true US hardcore lifers, that formed in 2017. They released their self-titled LP back in September 2018 via Financial Ruin, with distribution help from Dead Tank Records. 

I’m tired and I only finished work for the Christmas holidays about two hours ago but I can already feel myself wanting to sleep for days. I’m not one for whinging though, so I’ll leave it there. On a more positive note, music heals all and Horsewhip is my elixir for the evening. Their self-titled record features seven quick-fire blasts of the kind of hardcore that the collective they do (and have done) best, for years.

Opener Aver is a fast, angry attack filled with off-kilter metallic riffs, dual-vocals and an obnoxious rhythm section. This is thinking man’s hardcore and as we approach the end of a decade, it shows that not all music is being dumbed down. At times it ventures into that crawlspace between hardcore and grind, as demonstrated on the blasting Funeral Circus. It’s Alex’s blasts that really grab this song by it’s neck and drag it kicking and screaming. Dropping Out continues in the band’s angular, off-tempo vein and rules supreme in the energy stakes.

There’s a proper coherence between all of the songs on here. From the chaotic hardcore numbers to the blasting/grinding ones like Dirt Bag, there’s an obvious will to destroy while educating as well. This isn’t just an instant fix and it makes you think. With bands like Trap Them calling it a day recently, there’s a space left that’s crying out to be filled by a band like Horsewhip (not that I’m in any way pigeonholing them with that statement). Spill does have that menacing edge to it though.

Penultimate song The Road could well be about the collective experiences felt by Horsewhip while touring or it could be about something totally different (probably the latter) but either way, it’s the first of a duo of longer, more drawn out songs that seem to both up the heaviness and throw in a bit of progression as well. Final song Fires mixes the best of both worlds with groove, bluesy bass-lines, pure anger and percussive acrobatics aplenty. 

People often forget to indulge themselves in those moments of stillness and thought, not allowing themselves time to appreciate what they have in front of them. This may be heavy music to some, but to us it means more than just it’s descriptor. Horsewhip feels like more than just a band. Horsewhip harnesses something that we all have inside of us. Rawness, emotion, feeling. There’s no need to be cold anymore. Hug someone, scream at the top of your lungs and feel the highs and the lows of life. You’ll be better and stronger for it.

You can stream and purchase the record digitally via Financial Ruin below:-

You can also support Horsewhip directly by grabbing it digitally from their bandcamp page here - http://horsewhipfl.com/ and grab the LP from Dead Tank Records here - https://deadtankrecords.com/.

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