Hrududu Factory – Songs from the Burrow EP

Hrududu Factory
Songs from the Burrow EP

For those who say you can take a concept or gimmick too far, I give you Hrududu Factory, perhaps the most unabashedly gimmick project that I defy anyone to not enjoy. Borrowing heavily from Watership Down, all the material about Hrududu Factory claims it’s the project of one man, Tharn, and the rabbit imagery goes far beyond simply the band name and cover. I have to admit, I loved Watership Down, and my biggest fear was that the music couldn’t possibly live up to the image Hrududu Factory created. Oddly enough, it’s pretty fitting.
The songs are light, playful, bouncy, and a little unusual. They all feel pretty lo-fi, with mostly acoustic guitar and the light, rather whispery vocals. There’s odd little flourishes, like unique percussion and kazoo that add to the silly feel of the music without actually diminishing its quality, but Tharn takes his music seriously, and that’s evident on some of these songs that thrive even with the lo-fi production values.
An example of the unusual touches would be the little clip-clop beat on “Tractor Guy,” which is all acoustic guitar and upbeat pace. The line of “I can’t be your best friend anymore” reinforces the playful nature of the whole project. “Family Car” feels a bit bigger, a bit loftier, with some nice layering of guitar and odd vocals. “A Terrible Sight” is more subtle, soft and dreamy, with light guitar and the occasional chiming keys. “Garfield and Valley” is rather dreamy pop, probably the best song on the EP with its lightly strummed acoustic guitar, drum machine rhythm, and keyboards. Tharn even shows off his guitar talents on the very nice untitled sixth track, which mentions silly rabbits in a non-Trix context.
So yes, there’s something inherently silly about Hrududu Factory. You can’t, after all, fool yourself into thinking the Watership Down rabbits are actually making this music, but if they could, this would likely be the kind of music they’d make, or at least play in their burrows. This limited-edition EP, handsomely packaged so that it feels as good as it sounds, is lo-fi, light, and charming.