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Harm Wulf - There's Honey In The Soil So We Wait For The Till

AKelly   (133 reviews)

Posted: 11/02/2013 | Comments: 3 | Rate:

I've seen the name Harm Wulf floating around on different music sites, and after learning it's G. Hirsch's solo project I figured I'd check it out. Don't think you're getting anything close to Blacklisted sound-wise. If you're into modern folk rock, then this is a record you must check out.

The first thing anyone will probably notice about this album is how bleak it is. Just take a look at the artwork to get a glimpse of what you're in for sound-wise. In this regard it reminded me of Neutral Milk Hotel (more for the simplicity and lyrics than the vocals or music), and songs from Swans's White Light From The Mouth of Infinity. There's a great sense of let-down, being alone, and disappointment throughout. I think the best song to check out from the record first would be "When Old Becomes New." Hirsch's simplistic yet effective songwriting and great lyrics really paint a picture. The whole song I felt like I was in the middle of the story. The ending lines were my favorite lyrically here. "When old becomes new will you stay veiled in the shadows?/As the leaves green turn gold are you the light I wish to know?" This song is nothing but Hirsch's guitar and voice, with a bit of a wind sound effect which actually adds a lot to the feeling of isolation in the song. This, along with songs like "Spectrum Blues," "We Hold Empty Names," and "Bonepicker," were my favorite on the album. These were the ones with minimal added parts. For me, these parts that were added had much more effect than when there was a lot going on. For example, I loved the added strings (probably a violin or viola) in "Spectrum Blues." In the songs where there were drums and other instruments, Hirsch's voice was swallowed in a mess of reverb and it was hard to tell what was going on. It was almost disorienting to listen to a few of these songs. Luckily, these were in the minority. It stuck out to me the most in "Silk Soul" with the reverbed-out drums and low-fi bass and guitar, although I did like the added female voice during the choruses. G. Hirsch's voice is very deep and melancholy throughout, so to have a different octave accentuating the melody was refreshing.

Another critique I would have is that his voice just isn't that great singing-wise. There were different points listening to this that I cringed-he definitely was off key multiple times throughout. However, I feel like the emotion and overall vibe it gives to the rest of his sound compliments it instead of hurts it.

I mentioned the simplicity of the songwriting before, and it totally works in his favor. If you've been playing guitar for over a year or two, you can probably play most if not all parts on this album. A lot of it is just simple, mostly open chord progressions. It's worked for hundreds of bands (think of Good Riddance by Green Day, that's only 4 chords), and it works here. What makes it work even better are the melodies he puts in vocally are memorable and you really are listening intently to what the lyrics are conveying. I definitely want to buy this record to have the lyric sheet. Kudos to Deathwish for putting this out. Everything I've heard from them has been artistically great but heavy as well, so it's cool that they're putting this project out. Minus a few personal gripes, I've enjoyed this album and will continue to do so. Overall, this is a very impressive debut record that is hauntingly beautiful as well as simplistically rich.

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Comments
I have no legs!
8,368 Posts
F/NA
Didn't even know this was coming out soon.

FFO - Death in June, Cult of Youth, Current 93, Wreathes, Neo-Folk

I didn't attend, but I heard George had a speech prior to the Blacklisted set at TIH regarding suicide and depression. I wish I could have heard or seen it but I don't believe it was recorded. I think a lot of that expression comes out in this Harm Wulf aspect of his music. There's only so much you can scream about until those words go upon deaf ears and becomes a novelty.

Looking forward to giving this a listen.
I brought gifts
17,719 Posts
33/M/MD
Not a fan. Listened awhile ago and was disappointed.
Pulp Free
52,190 Posts
35/M/PA
Originally posted by: nobodygotstylelikeus

Didn't even know this was coming out soon.

FFO - Death in June, Cult of Youth, Current 93, Wreathes, Neo-Folk

I didn't attend, but I heard George had a speech prior to the Blacklisted set at TIH regarding suicide and depression. I wish I could have heard or seen it but I don't believe it was recorded. I think a lot of that expression comes out in this Harm Wulf aspect of his music. There's only so much you can scream about until those words go upon deaf ears and becomes a novelty.

Looking forward to giving this a listen.




If Blacklisted was ready to go and George started speaking just before the music kicked in, I'm sure Len recorded it. I haven't noticed but was the blacklisted set mixed and video posted yet? If not, there is a chance it will still make it in there.

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