Hawk Eyes – Everything is Fine

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Debut album Ideal set the seeds for a lustful appetite which the following That’s What This Is not only cemented but took to new feverish heights; so anticipation for us and their fans for new album Everything is Fine was not exactly calm. Every want and expectation demanded of UK rockers Hawk Eyes it has to be said is swiftly met by the bands second full-length but it is only half of the story. On their breath-taking new encounter, the band explores new instinctively primal and raw depths within a greater and furiously fevered invention. Everything is Fine is rock ‘n’ roll at its most rugged and voracious, but also offered in its greatest imaginatively virulent form.

The heart and persuasion of the Leeds band began in the guise of Chickenhawk, a proposition similarly making a potent impression through their live presence and the album Modern Bodies of 2010. It was from the name change to Hawk Eyes though, that the unit tapped into a broader and richer vein of attention and personal creative exploration with a similarly expanding and creatively rebellious sound. The first album under the new guise, Ideals set a bigger roar within the British rock scene which That’s What This Is pushed even further but now having had Everything is Fine raging through ears into the passions, it is easy to say they were just hearty appetisers for a much bigger inventive meal.

The writing of the PledgeMusic funded Everything Is Fine began in 2012, songs emerging within and round the band’s constant hunger to tour and play shows, which included supported the likes of System of A Down at arena shows and playing the biggest music festivals across Europe, as well as SXSW over in the States. Even writers block for vocalist and guitarist Paul Astick could not derail the oncoming creative storm driving the new album, the man solving his problem by absconding to a hole at Spurn Point in Yorkshire on a really bleak evening with the outcome an oppressively dark and wonderfully ravenous title track.

The album though starts off with the inescapable lure of The Trap, a song making a gentle and slightly melancholic entrance with an air and dark stringed caress to match. Its first minute is a 4ca338c20ba067f7ab9f5dd77375627a0tantalising coaxing for ears and imagination before parting its veils for the pungent and anthemic rhythmic lure of drummer John Mackenzie aligned to the just as compelling throaty bassline offered by Ryan Clark. The outstanding vocals of the band are soon crooning and lifting the energy of the song, never letting it off its leash but prowling the senses and emotions with riveting expression and expertise. There is a breath of Dioramic and Pigeon Lake to the track, a harmonic and shadow wrapped breeze which only lifts the passions further as the opener crowds excitingly around the listener leading them towards a superb hook loaded vocal and almost combative climax.

The exceptional start is backed feistily by the sonic agitation of The Ambassador, a song grasping a dirtier hardcore laced vocal and rhythmic confrontation to its melodically clothed and tenaciously muscular breast. Hooks tease and riffs abrase from Robert Stephens and Astick, as vocals eye ball the listener with their boisterous tones and narrative. It is a blend ensuring body and emotions continue to be tightly clasped ready for the exceptional call of Die Trying. Soon offering punk vivacity to its heavier metal seeded tempest, the track equally finds an alternative rock contagion which offers shades of bands like Baddies in its unique creative brawl. It is a thumping encounter bringing further spices to its magnetic turbulence, a grungy essence as intriguing and gripping as the sinew driven aspects of the masterful persuasion.

There is strong variety to the flavours of the song and even greater diversity to the album, as straight away shown by the raucous heavy rock stomp of Permission with its progressively honed melodies and the catchy warm stroll of The Ballad Of Michael McGlue. The first roars like a mix of Queens Of The Stone Age and Therapy? whilst the second looks at another more indie/alternative rock canvas coloured with funky beats and melodically inflamed evocative hues. Both captivate with ease, though the sudden stop of the latter and the immediate charge of the following More Than A Million soon has album and listener hitting greater exhaustive energies. The wonderfully toxic snarl of the bass and accompanying acidic grooves chain the passions instantly, whilst the continually impressive vocals of Astick along with the unpredictable nature of song and individual creativity within the band, enthrals as they lure body and voice into the swing and anthem of the track.

Terribly Quelled shows its aggressive proclivity next, snarling with resourceful and inviting belligerence attached to punk fuelled anthemic suasion before Night Music absorbs a Faith No More like climate as it provides another fascinating and increasingly addictive inducement complete with roaming rhythms, mesmeric vocals, and sonic blazes. Both songs leave emotions high though are soon in the shadow of the outstanding I Never Lose and the album’s scintillating title track. The first of the pair twists and flirts with an agitated new wave bloomed enterprise reminding of the likes of We Are The Physics. This is aligned to an unbridled stalking of heavy rock ‘n’ roll rabidity for striking success, whilst the latter is a tempestuous consumption of ears with a post punk and discord lit bluster of predatory imagination and sonic causticity. It is also, from within its corrosive smother, one seriously infectious proposal brilliantly closing with a thrilling parade of enterprise which hints of very early Adam and The Ants.

Everything Is Fine is brought to an engrossing end by firstly, the controlled yet ferocious avalanche of rhythmic intimidation and sonic examination that is Enemies, and lastly the seven minute plus TFF. The final song does not quite match up to all that went before it, yet leaves the listener engulfed in a tapestry of melodic and dramatically multi-flavoured adventure, which shows just how exceptional other songs are to outshine it.

In many ways Hawk Eyes had a head start thanks to the already hungry appetite for their sounds already bred by the band previously but Everything Is Fine surpasses all hopes and greedy demands with quick and masterful majesty. Start those best of year lists right now and put Hawk Eyes right at the top.

Everything Is Fine is available from February 9th through Red Vole @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/everything-is-fine/id962728478

Check out Hawk Eyes on tour@

Thurs Feb 12, Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Liverpool

Fri Feb 13, Barfly, London

Sat Feb 14, The Joiners, Southampton

Mon Feb 16, Louisiana, Bristol

Tues Feb 17, Bodega, Nottingham

Weds Feb 18, Sound Control, Manchester

Thurs Feb 19, The Cluny, Newcastle

Fri Feb 20, Nice N Sleasy, Glasgow

Sat Feb 21, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

http://www.hawkeyesmusic.com

RingMaster 09/02/2015

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Ideals – Reflections

Ipswich band Ideals swiftly drew attention their way from the moment of their formation in early 2010 and an almost immediate deal with Intruder Records. Through the year the release of four strong singles, Lungs, Love Song, Forever Leisure, and Don’t Tell Anyone, from the now London based quartet further confirmed their promise and showed an instinctive ability to write impressive melodic and dramatic songs. This year has already seen the release of the immense Significant Other and May sees the continuation of the bands progress and growing fan base with their new single Reflections. Eventually this and Significant Other will form part of an EP with four new tracks to be released later in the summer but for now it stands alone as a beacon for the great sound that is Ideals and currently as a free download before its official release July 4th.           

Reflections simmers over an unrelenting scorching bass riff that drives the song forward but without overpowering the creativity of the sweetly vibrant guitars which flesh the track out with at times solemn feelings and in others moments lift it into dynamic crescendos. The rhythm spine of Simon Wilson on bass and the drums of Ben Ward bring the perfect balance to the stirring guitars of Johnny Healey and vocalist Andrew Major. Lyrically Ideals are typically poetic but without the words losing their sharpness, whilst the delivery of Majors enhances the self reflection feeling which resonates from within the melancholic sounds, all combining to create a song that is felt as well as heard. At times the track has a slight feel of Divine Comedy fused with Pulp but with a potent darker touch that lifts it out onto its own unique plateau.

Though it does not quite reach the immense heights of its classic predecessor, and it is a comment on the quality of the former and not anything negative about this release, Reflections is an inspiring and wonderful piece of well thought out and realised song writing, played with balanced control and passion. Ideals are part of and in many ways leading a new indie trinity of bands that create music that is felt as much as heard, the other two Letters and Galleries also making music that one slips into with all senses and thoughts. Ideals stand out though and whether with lively dynamic tracks or mellow potent songs tinged with sadness they are always irresistible and freshly thrilling. This year should be the moment they truly step into the light for many more fans of real music.

http://www.myspace.com/idealstheband
http://www.intruderrecords.co.uk/idealspress

Pete RingMaster 21/05/2011

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