Misery so thick you can taste it.Double Double Whammy, 2017
6.5 / 10
It’s easy to understand why Taster is the name for Hovvdy‘s debut album. At 11 songs, the album ends in just 25 minutes. Some songs are barely over a minute long. Still, that’s enough time for Hovvdy to drive a stake through your heart. Consisting of members Charlie Martin and Will Taylor, the duo originally released Taster through Bandcamp last year. However, many people liked the taste, including label Double Double Whammy. The label re-releases their debut to get more people on board with Hovvdy’s lo-fi bedroom rock.
Although Hovvdy prefer a quiet approach to their music rather than screaming, Taster gives off a flavor of emo. Many of the songs deal with relationships whether platonic, sexual or familial. Really, it’s sometimes hard to figure out the relationship to the person being sung about. Not only scarce in length, the songs are very vague on the details while also being somewhat concrete. A sample lyric from “Meg”: “There’s a fork in my throat/ I saw it between your big toe and me/ Under the sheets.” Okay, so that’s obviously about a lover, but what the fuck is going on?
Musically Hovvdy shift from sometimes bawdy riffs to quieter strums. “Pretend” sounds like a genuine pop song versus Taster‘s other offerings. It reminds me of early Bright Eyes experimenting with computers. The album’s best song, “In My Head”, is soft; though, its riffs growl as if hungry for dinner. The song deals with a devastating realization that you can’t easily move back into someone’s life. The lyric, “I haven’t ever had to fit two people in my head,” is sad, but it also feels like a statement on being selfish. Thankfully, Double Double Whammy are not being selfish by sharing this album with a bigger audience. Maybe Hovvdy’s next album won’t be a taster of their potential.