Dagobert's Revenge

Will Haven


This fearsome foursome of hardcore heroes was formed in Sacramento, CA in 1995, named after an imaginary character, William Haven. Their 1997 album, El Diablo was a favorite among hardcore critics, even making it to #5 on the CMJ charts. Since then they have toured with Limp Bizcuit and the Deftones, and put out a new album, WHVN, the Tetragrammaton of hardcore punk. This is generally not the style of music I gravitate towards and yet I found this to be very catchy and enjoyable. One of the songs, “If She Could Speak”, I remember hearing on MTV and on college radio. “Jaworski” is my particular favorite, a tune the author describes as “my fuck you song”, a verbal threat clearly meant to incite violence. The lyrics on this album are complex and avant-garde, making use of a fascinating system of symbolism that draws from religion, philosophy, literature, and common speech. The songs are about such recognizable subjects as love, friendship, personal feelings, society, or life in general, but the lyrics are never so straight-forward. For example, “Fresno” starts out with the words “Let’s go for a walk and paint the stars in constellations of cruelty.” In “End Summary”, he declared that, “The stagnant fills my bowels, I’m frozen love boy.” In “Dallass Drake” he recommends that you “virtual razor blade kill yourself with a man-made fail-safe troubleshoot”, while “we entrust our minds and pockets unto a box.” The songs “Muse” is another interesting one, about painting a self-portrait while telling some girl named Courtney that “I love you for being her.” Another one, called “Genesis 11” refers to the story of the Tower of Babel. It talks about all humanity uniting to build “one machine breeding a common goal”, one that “the hand of God will destroy... he babbles thy speech... splitting the tongues, we fear him.” The reference to the Tower as a machine reminds me of Zecharia Sitchin’s assertion that the Tower of Babel was actually a rocket ship meant to go into space, and Will Haven is clearly presenting God as the villain in this story, the evil overlord who did not want his children to accomplish anything. Deep sentiments for a hardcore band, which is why Will Haven will remain my favorite within that group.

Buy WHVN at amazon.com

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