Spawned in the dark swamp-scapes of Tampa Bay, Horsewhip has established itself as one of the most formidable and heaviest underground acts in hardcore. The environment that shaped them resonates in their sound – dark, ugly and furious.
Their new full-length LP Consume and Burn is an uncompromising sonic odyssey. Horsewhip merges together the darkest corners of hardcore punk, screamo, and metal into their own vision of annihilation. Comprised of members of Reversal of Man, Combatwoundedveteran, Sutek Conspiracy and a myriad of other acts, it’s an album that shows the band’s pedigree in writing heavy music. But more than anything, there’s a clear hunger to push the genre forward with each song.
Horsewhip shows moments of dissonance and unexpected beauty amid the oppressive weight of their sound. Songs like “Buried” offer brief respites of melody to create a forlorn sense of dread before redoubling their efforts. The aptly titled “Pain” shows its subject matter through multiple lenses, opening with a reflective riff before plummeting into breakneck speeds and full-throated chaos. Their strength lies in the raw, unadulterated fury that few can truly tap into.
The band’s punishing new focus is thanks to a change in lineup, adding Dave Teten on guitar and allowing for a delta in riffage, as well as moving Shaun Drees to main vocals and Jeff Howe on back up vox. Consume and Burn calls to mind His Hero Is Gone and Disfear at their most disgusting, or Neurosis at a sped-up RPM. Each member is a master of their craft, drums guitar and bass all synchronizing into an aural mugging of heaviness. It’s a testament to the depth and richness that can be found in anger, and why hardcore is at its best when it’s mean.
Consume and Burn was tracked and mixed by John Howard at War House Recordings and Mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios. Album art by Christopher Norris at Steak MTN.
Horsewhip: Shaun Drees, Jeff Howe, Alex Bond, Dave Teten.
Photo by: Dave Decker