Hawk Eyes – Mindhammers (Brew Records)

Posted on November 18, 2011

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Hawk Eyes – ‘Mindhammers’ (Brew Records 2011)
Just over a year after the release of debut record ‘Modern Bodies’, Hawk Eyes return to the world of recorded releases with ‘Mindhammers’, a 5 track EP that concludes their time on Brew Records before moving to Fierce Panda with an album promised in 2012. ‘Crack Another One’ opens side one with absolutely no messing around whatsoever. Where a lot of bands have taken advantage of modern technology to flesh out their weak writing with extra flab, Hawk Eyes have absolutely no need for this. This is three guitars, drums and vocals, full stop. A rock band playing rock songs, and doing it damn well. The guitars are tuned low, the vocals are cathartic and the drums are as drums should be, played with little regard to safety or longevity, but merely receiving a good beating. It’s a great opening. ‘Mindhammers’ and ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ make up the rest of side one, and one thing that is apparent is that whilst Hawk Eyes have retained the Chickenhawk heaviness, they have also managed to refine it into a much more focused beast. Where ‘Modern Bodies’ was plagued at times by a lack of focus, a seemingly constant distraction, ‘Mindhammers’ is heavy rock songs that contain no flab, no distraction, no needless extras.

Side two is where things get a little more interesting. ‘Eleven Years’ opens it up and sounds for all the world like a modern, northern Faith No More, Paul Astick’s vocal in particular echoing ‘Album of the Year’ era Patton. The song does make its way to a heavy ending, but the melody and almost pop sensibilities shown are new ground for Hawk Eyes, and they do it almost seamlessly. ‘Hidden Hound’ wraps up the EP and maintains the Faith No More feel to it, a 6 minute spacey droner that sounds like the aforementioned Patton led troupe covering Failure, a combination that sounds a bit like a personal wet dream. The drumming is superb, and the extended repeated outro brings to mind a possible delving into Neurosis territory. A very stylish climax.

With ‘Mindhammers’, Hawk Eyes have more than wet the appetites for their forthcoming follow-up to ‘Modern Bodies’. The songs on offer here are consistently rewarding throughout, and if this is the material that was deemed not fit for the record, then it should be a cracker. That is the challenge, and 2012 will see whether Hawk Eyes are up to it.

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Posted in: Music, Reviews