H-p 1 (released June 21 on Thrill Jockey) rushes at the universe, a flurry of strange communions and melting skies that seeks to bend reality or perhaps split it open to root around inside. The latest from NYC’s White Hills blasts most contemporary attempts at psychedelic exploration with an elephant gun full of black hole shavings and solar flares. Everything about the massive, skulking, oddly groove-tastic double album seems hell-bent and screaming to break on through to…something. It’s hard to say just what White Hills are on about but the sputtering, enveloping torrent of their searching begs one to hop into a psychic kayak and make for the white water just around the bend. Only Julian Cope and Sunburned Hand of the Man are moving in this domain with the same excellence, and frankly neither has made an album as downright absorbing as H-p 1 in donkey’s years. White Hills have pinned down a real experience on this album, which rides high on the list of candidates for Bong Hit ‘n’ Headphone Album of the Year.
We asked White Hills guitarist Dave W. to puzzle over our five-pack o’ philosophizing.
- What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
- “…a bitch spelled backwards is dog.”
- Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
- Star Trek. Why? It’s logical…SPOCK!
- Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
- David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. It’s a deep album with many layers to it. At times it is reminiscent of choral music but it’s the antithesis of religious. In a way it was the new religious music of its time…preaching love and respect. It’s an album that reeks of the hope for a better world…and is also one that is drenched with drugs!
- Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
- What can transform a genius into a dunce instantly?
- You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
- I would invite Amy Sedaris, Rasputin and Cleopatra. I’d serve fresh mozzarella (no bread- we’re all on a diet), dill pickles and fried artichoke hearts. For dessert: shots of espresso alternating with shots of absinthe until someone cracks and gives away their darkest secret.