Weekend's best bet: H RV RD at Ottobar

January 26, 2012|By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun

This Charlotte rock quintet (formerly Harvard, before they changed their name earlier this month to the wonky H RV RD) almost didn't make the cut because of this eye-rolling mission statement (edited down here but in-tact enough to preserve its pomposity):

"And their craft is not relegated to the passive listening experience of a travel soundtrack or the background drone found at any social function. It transcends these and culminates in a live spectacle fueled as much by passion and human sweat as it is the desire and ache to share it; because it is what they love. That’s what artists do."

Um, right. Clearly these are guys that take themselves too seriously, but their music is interesting enough to make H RV RD's Friday show at Ottobar worth checking out.

The group is currently working on its follow-up to its debut album, 2009's "The Inevitable and I," a crisp, at-times lush take on jangly indie-rock. (There was also a 2010 EP that reimagined songs from their debut as sleepy, experimental lounge jazz renditions. No thanks.)

H RV RD seems to consider everything it touches "high-stakes" which can feel suffocating when its self-indulgent and thrilling when the band tones it down just enough. Acts like this typically give all-or-nothing performances, so that makes H RV RD's headlining show an enticing option during a slow week.Vinny Vegas and Monteclair also perform. Tickets are $8.

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