Local Review: Whisperhawk – Kosmos Burger

Local Music Reviews

Kosmos Burger
Street: 06.07
Whisperhawk = Hoodoo Gurus + Husker Du

Whisperhawk is the current project of musician Michael Gross. His latest EP, Kosmos Burger, is a galactic cosmic gem that could have come straight out of the Grateful Dead‘s Mars Hotel. Gross unleashes pure Matthew Sweet-like guitar candy ove_r heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics that  The ReplacementsPaul Westerberg once made famous. Gross is able to string everything together and make a sound all his own, delivering it in an edgy and nervous Gordon Gano folk/punk whine that quickly hooks you in.

Kosmos Burger is a six song EP that is a lollapalooza of surf rock andslightly psychedelic rock-buzz with a punk pop snarl. Gross is a master at writing love and pissed off break up songs, but it is his doomy world views that linger around the edges of the record. “I guess I should worry that everything is changing,” Gross sings on the track “Everything Is Changing” “I guess I should worry the whole world is ending.” On the very next track, Gross returns to the whispers of his insecurities—wishing a loved one would forgive him and stick around when it’s perfectly clear to Gross that it isn’t going to happen. But he asks anyway.

It’s kind of the whole theme of the EP: pushing things too far from the center to the point of not being able to reel it all back in. Pushing to the edges, where the world notices and crushes everything it sees.

This playing around with consequences shows its evil head on the song “Broken Too.” “She wants me to follow the rules / I refuse,” Gross sings confidently, “You think my life is some waste of time / But I don’t,” he adds with even more confidence, before boldly delivering, “I’m not done yet!” when the song abruptly ends. He’s done.

Kosmos Burger seems to be one long breakup song that is sometimes mean around the beginning, with the final song pretty much begging a lover not to leave. It all plays out kind of like one long fight in an apartment containing not-so-quiet desperation. Gross lets himself come apart at the seams. He comes to the conclusion it’s over on the track  “I Am On Your Side.” “I’m only human I confess,” Gross sings over a raging guitar and UFO sound effects. “I know you wish we never met.”

I appreciate the journey of Michael Gross, stretching out the decades since the early 2000’s, constantly reinventing himself, or maybe just quietly and conveniently reappearing— like what good musicians and artists do, casting the nets again for new ears and audiences. Gross seems to be hinting this on the opening track “Dreaming Doesn’t Help.” “I’m on a journey through the past,” he sings. “It’s no use looking back.” Gross gives us what’s past is prologue on Kosmos Burger. He hits the sweet spot for any pop or rock-n-roll song, the future sucks. All these emotions we have are for the here and now. Win, or lose, it doesn’t matter. You just survive somehow.

Whisperhawk’s Kosmos Burger is like a valentine in summer. It’s a beautiful little ditty, like John Cougar’s “Jack And Diane.” JUST KIDDING! It’s six songs pretty much about two people that will most likely never see each other again. And it’s perfect. There is so much packed in to Kosmos Burger that it feels like a full LP. I hope in the future to hear more from Whisperhawk, and I especially hope to hear more from anything Michael Gross decides to do. Enjoy the Kosmos Burger, it’s tasty. —Russ Holsten

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