Recorded and engineered by Hawks on an 8-track Tascam 1/4-inch tape machine
Produced by Josh Fauver and Gavin Fredricks
Hawks are four boys from Atlanta who play frantic noise rock that somehow gets stuck in your head despite all its cacophony and perversion. It also lends itself to high-energy, pants-optional live shows.
Listening to Hawk’s debut LP, Barnburner, is like being chased by an F4 tornado. Andrew Wiggins’ guitar riffs are like sirens. Bass player Sean Fitzgerald and drummer Shane Patrick create rhythms that are sometimes raucous and at other times deliberate and foreboding. The exasperated vocals bring a sense of futility to Barnburner and, basically, the record is your antidote to the whole hope, change and optimism trend.
Lyrically, Barnburner smirks and begs you to feel awkward. Songs like “Shitfist” and “The Thrust That Missed” are as exaggerated and vomit-inducing as they sound. While Barnburner has aptly been described as “sleazy” and “shower-inspiring,” Hawks slip a catchiness into their grimy chaos that makes showering futile in the face of tracks like “Sex on Beta.”
The track “Maritime Scarring,” however, provides a welcome break from the chaos by beginning in a psychedelic crawl. A creaky child’s voice comes in and says, “I’m not frightened. I’m not frightened.” Then the song explodes back into Barnburner’s default franticness.
The second half of the record is interspersed with fist-pumpingly epic movie quotes – dense, haunting soundbites from movies like Oldboy and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But they’re gritty, apocalyptic and almost impossible to live up to – well-chosen, but too ambitious. Ultimately, they just distract from the music (which is saying a lot considering Hawks aptly list “Melodramatic” as one of their genres on MySpace).
Barnburner certainly succeeds in being melodramatic. It’s a fast-paced, painful and pessimistic record that’ll make you want to avoid eye-contact and get your rage on. (Army of Bad Luck/Vagina Flambe)