In his family’s basement on Nowhere Rd., on the outskirts of Athens, Ga., a 17-year-old Henry Barbe carefully presses “record” on a four-track Tascam. The subsequent recording would become “Basement Scene” on Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest. Henry assisted his father, David Barbe (of Sugar, Mercyland, and producer of nearly every Drive-by Truckers album) throughout the production of this record. Recording onto tape would prove to become a pattern for Henry, who continued to cut his teeth on a four-track through the rest of his teen years, fine-tuning his method of songwriting. In 2013, he began performing as The Hernies. After his self-titled tape release in the same year, a nearly-solo effort by Henry, he recruited his brother, Winston Barbe (guitar), and friends Glenn Reece (drums) and Evan Amburn (bass, vox) to arrange and perform the songs that would later become The Hernies’ debut LP, If You Can’t Think Then You Cannot Be Afraid Of The Consequences Of Your Actions.
Blessed with a musically-hip dad and raised with the music of Pavement, The Replacements, The Minutemen, Neil Young, The Glands, and everything in between, Henry is acutely aware of his rock ‘n’ roll upbringing and proudly celebrates it with this self-produced record. During his breaks between tours running sound for the Drive-By Truckers, Henry culled together these songs and recorded them in his father’s part-owned Athens studio, Chase Park Transduction; a studio that fostered albums from Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Bright Eyes and many more.
In making this record and refining their live show, The Hernies emerged a fully formed band – each member contributing their own quirk and distinctive flourishes. Brothers Henry and Winston carry the melody of these songs by trading transformative guitar riffs back and forth, while Glenn and Evan provide the rhythm that is oftentimes strange and angular, while maintaining an undeniable tightness throughout.
Peppered with baseball trivia and Star Wars references, the record balances warped pop songs with short, fast, and catchy energetic bursts and longer, more meandering songs that explore themes of growing up, lacking and finding identity, losing innocence, trying to live easy, and finding oneself in the mix of this seemingly absurd thing we call life. In short: coming of age in Athens, Ga.
If You Can’t Think Then You Cannot Be Afraid Of The Consequences Of Your Actions, due 4/28, will be released on Elephant 6-affiliated Orange Twin Records, home to label-mates Nana Grizol, Elf Power, and more.