Hawk Eyes – That’s What This Is

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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 1098024_516515751751798_1760845154_nenergetic 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.

www.hawkeyesmusic.com

9/10

RingMaster 19/08/2013

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Black Belt KARATE – Volume 1

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Strap in and release the hand break to your appetite and emotions as Black Belt KARATE have just given garage rock a boost of adrenaline with their debut EP Volume 1. A five track blaze of refreshing indie punk, garage rock, and a spatter of blues devilry, the release is a thrilling rampage of passionately crafted sounds and fiery intent which awakens senses and emotions with its first romp and proceeds to increasingly enslave and dazzle across subsequent ventures down its exciting road.

Hailing from Los Angeles, the quartet of vocalist Ryan Hanifl, bassist Harry Ostrem, drummer Ryan Brown, and guitarist/EP producer and engineer Jason Achilles Mezilis, came together in the summer of 2012 with Mezilis and Hanifl reuniting from their time together in Your Horrible Smile. Soon a foursome, the band whose members also feature in other bands, Mezilis in Owl and Ostrem as tour bassist for Guns n Roses’ Dizzy Reid’s band for example soon grabbed attention for their groove littered rock ‘n’ roll. Constant gigging equally built up a potent and fervour led following with the band again rapidly moving to the largest stages and festivals such as Ink-n-Iron Festival in Long Beach where they shared a stage with the likes of Iggy and The Stooges, Sublime, Bad Brains, Rocket From The Crypt, The Offspring, Dead Kennedys and many more. Self –released this past April in the US and August 19th in the UK, Volume 1 now brings all the potency and power of the band which woke up their homeland to the other side of the big pond, and it is hard not to see Black Belt KARATE seducing once again.

As soon as the throaty grizzle of the bass and the equally raw and incendiary guitar scrubbing consumes the ear in a delicious prowl the BBK REVISED - iTUNES DIGITAL BOOKLETworld narrows into just their tunnel of existence, the introduction a sizzling beckoning soon enhanced by the excellent vocals of Hanifl. Rigamortis instantly holds attention in its enterprising hands, taking a considered stroll through the ear to start working on the senses with a sultry temptation and underlying snarl reminding of Queens Of The Stone Age. There is also a wantonness that licks at the passions without ever showing all of its illicit charms, its own lure holding a touch of Eagles Of Death Metal, and only adds to the full persuasion fingering the passions from first note to last.

The following Servant saunters in with a less intensive rabidity to its core but a still predacious hunger from guitars and bass speared by the steel rhythmic punches of Brown. Once again it is hard to tear thoughts away from prime QOTSA but with the continuing to impress vocals and melodic toxicity which engulfs the heart of the song and the listener, as well as the playful devilment peeking throughout the track and release it is a fresh and magnetic proposition which only leaves a greedy appetite behind. The song is simply a straight forward slice of riled rock which despite being three minutes seems over before it has begun and demands that replay button is used.

Push cracks open a riot of agitated rhythms driving a voracious tempest of blues rock loaded with punk attitude and concentrated intensity. As with all the tracks the band does not overdo or stretch out the delicious flourishes to distraction but uses them to colour the body of the song making with the vocals a perfect temper for the almost savage and addictive growl of bass and riffs.

A Stones like tease drapes around the opening of Building Walls and continues to whisper throughout the slower tempo gaited sonic croon. Though it is not as tightly gripping as the previous tracks, the enthralling almost mesmeric hug of vocals and the persistently caressing sonic touch of the guitar takes the song right to the emotions to place its firmly in a vat of satisfaction.

Kaleidoscope is left to complete the release and does so with the best moment of the EP. A vibrant enticement of drums cages the passions from the first second and is soon given a bass sculpted warder that ensures contagion is absolute. It is a riveting and scintillating start expanded to a similarly breath-taking dance of rhythmic incitement, insatiable riffs, and a sonic tonic which adds a lingering taunt for full rapture. Strenuous and athletic, infectious and compelling, the song is blues rock n roll at its finest and the final piece of evidence in the case for declaring Volume 1 as one of the intoxicating debuts this year maybe the most electrifying.

http://www.BBKofficial.com

9/10

RingMaster 19/08/2013

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I, The Writer – The Prisoner’s Dilemma

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    The Prisoner’s Dilemma is one of those releases which you can debate the originality of its contents and how easy it is to place side by side with many other same genre bred bands, but there is something about I, The Writer and their form of melodic metalcore which certainly engages deeper and longer than most. Hailing from London, the sextet with their debut full-length release shows a craft and imagination which leads thoughts and feelings to suggest that there is a real promise and presence within their grasps, an assumption that eventually we will see them forging their own identity. If it does not came to bear, on the evidence of their first album it will still be a pleasing and solidly appetising ride with the band anyway.

Taking wide influences from the likes of Memphis May Fire, August Burns Red, Killswitch Engage, and Linkin Park into their own ideas and invention, I, The Writer made their presence noticed back in the autumn of 2011 with debut EP The Narrow Minded coming the following year. Extremely positively received in the UK and beyond, the release and stature of the band was supported and elevated by performances alongside the likes of Being as an Ocean, With One Last Breath, Napoleon,  Against The Flood, Our People Versus Yours and many more. Signing with Self Made Records earlier this year, the band now make their biggest statement of intent with The Prisoner’s Dilemma and though it does not flatten down existing boundaries for metalcore it undoubtedly tantalises and awakens a strong appetite for their sound.

The album opens up with the decent enough instrumental Forever…, a brief scenery painting which leads into …Falling To Pieces, a itw_albmCVRtrack which seizes its moment and savagely chews on the senses with djent pilfered strikes and voracious rhythmic antagonism whilst melodic atmospheres weave a fire within the intensive engagement. The strong dual vocal attack of John Dudley and Mitch Richards with their corrosive and clean deliveries, though from the promo it is unclear who provides which aspect, makes a potent focal point within the abrasive tempest and as mentioned though the track does not startle against other bands there is an underlying, whispering persuasion that leaves a long term and tempting touch.

Both the following To Be A Man and Chin Up impose their strengths in the strong start of the album, the first an immediate abrasive lure with the guitars of Dan Cuaces and Nejib Kthiri stirring up the air and senses with entangled sonic twisting and evocative play within another confrontational badgering whilst its successor snarls and scuffs up the ear vocally and musically from the off to provide a charge of sonic teeth within a carnivorous jaw that is exceptional. The drum work of Kaine Levy never relents in threatening and challenging the listener whilst the bass of Josh Levy skirts the senses like a rabid beast preying on the victims of the ever scarring riffs and guitar enterprise. The merger of clean and melodic elements to the ravaging breath of the song is impressive though for once such the intensive pleasure gained from the untamed assault it outshone the mellower casts.

The likes of Faith You Breathe and Taken From The Teeth, which features Ricky Armellino of This or the Apocalypse, skilfully reinforce the impact of the album if without reaching the heights of the songs before, whilst This Night Will End tempts and barracks the ear with jagged guitar taunts and a vocal narrative that continually shuffles up its approach to match the simultaneously shifting thought and sound of the song. It is probably fair to say that some tracks on the album hold too much of at least a surface similarity though delving deeper does bring a distinction which cannot be dismissed, something Until The Pendulum Learns To Walk does its inventive best to prove. A resourceful and passion drenched song it makes an unpredictable break in the scheme of things whilst still being firmly aligned to all around, and emerges if not the most explosive track the most inventive on the album.

The release is completed by the more than decent Past The Void and Standing Brave, two once again well designed and defined songs but a pair wrapped in an already established wash on the release. They do emphasise the rich promise and existing craft of I, The Writer with ease and like The Prisoner’s Dilemma as a whole, suggests there is a great band emerging from this strong and satisfying base.

https://www.facebook.com/ithewriterband

8/10

RingMaster 19/08/2013

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