Following up their last year’s acclaimed album Ideas, UK disorientators Hawk Eyes smack the listener right between the eyes with new EP That’s What This Is. Consisting of four tracks which in many ways take off from where their predecessors left off, the release is a carnivorous tempest of voracious invention and rapacious imagination which sculpts it all into an irresistible blaze of hunger driven energy and merciless confrontation. It is a mighty EP that lends forcibly the notion that the Leeds quartet is one of the UK’s dramatically promising and securely entrenched rock bands.
Originally called Chickenhawk until a couple of years ago, the band took little time to make an impression and inspire thoughts of being a potent force in waiting for the UK scene. Debut album Modern Bodies of 2010 churned up good attention and responses as did their live performances whilst Ideas with a new band name and shift in sound drew the strongest suggestion of the might and promise of Hawk Eyes. Written at the tail end of last year, as were many of the tracks to be found on their forthcoming new album, the PledgeMusic funded That’s What This Is provides a bruising storm of greedy riffs, bone snapping rhythms, and sinew clad rabidity which leaves the lungs low on breath and body caving in from exhaustion.
The opening title track wakes up the senses immediately with crisply swung beats and taunting rubs of guitar before settling into an energetic ride of driving bass riff and punchy rhythms coated in sonic intrigue and punk fuelled vocals. It is a striking encounter which only gets stronger and more potent as it unleashes a blend of punk ‘n’ roll and melodic metal which simply cages the passions into a maelstrom of pleasure and urgent participation. As it rampages the track reminds of the likes of One Minute Silence, Therapy?, and the other similarly musically clad emerging band leading UK heavy sounds, Fuckshovel. It is an outstanding and ridiculously anthemic infection setting the release off at the strongest pinnacle and though as mentioned it feels like a continuation of the previous album it openly brings a maturity and imagination which is a few leaps on.
The tall order to back up such an immense start is given to the kinder touch of Never Never, Just Not Now, a song that leads with less barbed catchy hooks and softer persuading melodies compared to the more savage attack of the previous song, though that is not to say it lacks a bite and the provocation which demands full emotional attention and limbs to cast their energised shadows in unison. With muscular rhythms framing sonic flames of craft and enthrallment and a melodic wash which takes in sound and vocals whilst still providing an acidic taste which intimidates and caresses, the song majestically rises to the challenge set without quite gripping the lip of the level. It does show the wealth and depth of sound and imagination within Hawk Eyes, an invention which does not over play or push anything beyond its use to songs but brings everything into a purposeful intent to provide the sturdiest captivating rock ‘n’ roll, in this case in a body that gives the likes of the Foo Fighters a run for their money.
Cheap has an alternative rock offering to again bring diversity to the release, though yet again the rugged passions of the band make their stirring mark with bestial riffs and cantankerous grooves more than eager to chew on the senses for the smouldering melodies to subsequently soothe. With a raw underbelly and a brawling attitude at its core the song is another jaw smacking treat which with its companions only make the anticipation for the impending album impatient, that lack of want to wait further cemented by closing song More Than A Million. Snarling up the senses in another tirade of ravenous predatory riffs and wickedly entwining grooves alongside a stalking of drums and bass animosity from its premier breath, the track entraps the listener in a web of ravenous sonic mayhem fortified by a rhythmic lashing and scarring guitar brutality, their reins held in the hold of the excellent melodic and passion bred vocals.
It is a thunderous conclusion to an invigorating release which keeps the band on course to head, alongside a few others admittedly, the world invasion of British hard balling rock. Hawk Eyes have their vision firmly set on your passions and That’s What This Is certainly gets the deed done.
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