By Terry Marland, Rock At Night Wales
Review: Hawk’s album Fly- Release date May 15, 2020
Hawk’s lead member is the is the prolific David Hawkins, who also boasts a successful career as an abstract painter, and is co-founder of The Black Mountain Arts Collective, as well as heading “Be” the orchestral folk-rock outfit. Hawk features a collective of stellar musicians with a rich pedigree. Ken Stringfellow (Posies and REM) on guitar, Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and Johnny Cash) on drums and Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople) on keyboards. Together they deliver an accomplished collection of highly listenable tracks.
Hawk’s previous two albums, the remastered I’m On Fire and Bomb Pop were met with critical acclaim and fans of the band have been eagerly awaiting the follow up.
Influences on “Fly” include REM and the Cure and there are certainly similarities to Nineties dream popper’s Galaxie 500. But make no mistake this is no re-tread and has a freshness about it that deserves extensive airplay.
Opening up with “This is it “a song that features a chance meeting in the 7-eleven and incorporates an infectious guitar riff overlaid with engaging vocal harmonies and the repeated “yeah yeah’s” give it a summery sixties sound that is also evident on the mesmerising “Everstill”.
The eighties inspired “You are the one I want” features a Robert Smith riff accompanied by New Order style keyboards makes for an engaging tune but the track, like “What’s your Name”, relies a little too heavily on a repeated refrain rather than developing the song.
For the most part the tracks focus on boy meets girl relationships but it’s when Hawkins’ delves into more serious topics that the strongest tracks emerge. “Truth to Power” challenges the Trump administration reminding the electorate that its time stand up and not ‘hide and cower” it’s a potent message Interlaced with strong harmonies and a pulsating riff that stays with you. The follow up track “Sick of This Town’ continues the social commentary with references to “fascists on the street” and serves as a poignant and disturbing soundscape to the current unrest.
The album closes with “Lost Our Way”, a psych rock journey into despair that incorporates a spellbinding guitar solo guitar overlaid with a vocal that prays “for the human race”.
An engaging selection of tracks that lurch between love and despair but pull you in in equal and measure and warrant exposure to a wide audience.
- This is it
- I Still Want You
- What’s Your Name
- I Believe in You
- She’s an Angel
- You Are the One I Want
- Truth to Power
- Sick of This Town
- Lost Our Way
More about the Album
David Hodges – Backing vocals on “This Is It”
Randy Morris – Drums on “I Still Want You”
Regan Souders – Bass on “This Is It”
All songs c p 2020 David Hawkins, BMI
Produced by David Hawkins. Engineered by David Hawkins, Ken Stringfellow, Morgan Fisher, and David Spreng.
Mixed by David Hawkins and Mike Hagler. Mastered by Mike Hagler at Kingsize, Chicago.
Recorded at Wonder Valley Sky, Joshua Tree, Hawk Studios, Venice CA, Dave’s Room, Los Angeles, Ken Stringfellow’s Studio In Tours, France, Morgan Fisher’s ‘Morgan Salon’ in Tokyo, Japan, and Mars Studio in Seattle
Members of HAWK
David Hawkins – Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Percussion
Aaron Bakker – Guitar
Morgan Fisher – Keys
Ken Stringfellow – Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Synths, Percussion Pete Thomas – Drums & Percussion