Published on January 16th, 2015 | by Callum Barnes0
Hawk Eyes – Everything Is Fine Album Review
One of my fondest memories of this band is blasting their ear-tormenting first record, ‘Modern Bodies’ while driving from Oldham to Leeds with my dad as I was moving to University- a journey which is now coming up to three years ago. I still listen to that album pretty much once every two weeks, if more. It always astounds me how heavy the guitars crunch on “NASA VS ESA” or how mental the tapping solo was on “I Hate This, Do You Like It?” However, like all great bands, Hawk Eyes moved on from those days- very slight at first as follow-up, ‘Ideas’ still had the absolutely bonkers mental head-fuck of “Milk Hog” but still incorporated more melodic elements to sing along to with songs like “Hollywood Sweatshop” and “Headstrung”. And now here we are – movement three. Hawk Eyes mark 3.
In an interview given with The Independent mid-last year, lead singer Paul Astick explained that a lot of the songs on the forthcoming record would be much more straight forward – they’d shown us they could smash our ears with riffs and play like true guitar and rhythm titans but this would be a bit of a different direction for the band – and indeed it is, with definitely a more lean on melody. Usually this would make me sigh and be worried that one of my favourite heavy bands was going to start creating radio-friendly pop garbage, however, in this case it’s just another side to the band that I love, and it’s completely excellent.
We start with “The Trap” which is one of the most diverse songs on the record, opening with guitar moans and then breaking out into a triumphant singalong chorus that you can’t help but be uplifted by. This is Hawk Eyes putting everything they’ve collected over their time together in one huge package. Songs like “Permission” and the title track use the shrieks of the early records, but combine this with an underlying current of harmony which really gives the tracks the potential to be shouted along to in a live venue. The most bizarre moment on this album comes from a most unexpected place, “The Ballad Of Michael Mcglue”, which is one of the most straight forward pieces of music this band has ever composed. With its driving rhythm and call/response vocal lines it feels almost ‘experimental’ for Hawk Eyes. “More Than A Million” raises its head again (originally the closing track on 2013’s ‘That’s What This Is’ EP) and some head-down rockers too in the form of the fantastic “The Ambassador”, which coming straight after the change of gear opening, will be a welcome comfort blanket for older fans, and “Enemies” whose chorus made me smile like an idiot after first hearing it. “Night Music” continues the straight-forward approach to songwriting and is a personal favourite of mine on the record with what seems like two chorus’ occurring one after the other. By the time closer “TFF” fades in and out, the journey is complete and here is a more confident band than ever before. They’ve tread a constantly evolving path of crafting great bits of songs, then great songs and now they’ve conquered the album with twelve different voices.
Basically, support the pledge campaign while it still exists (I await my signed record eagerly), buy the album and aid the band. This is one of the most underrated rock acts in the UK right now and they deserve every success they can get. This is an astounding record which will transfer to the live arena flawlessly, so make sure to catch them on tour over February. Ich bin business.
Ps. If you don’t know who Hawk Eyes are they have presented this helpful informative video:
Released: 9th February 2015
By Callum Barnes