Death Hawks – S/T


Review by Jason Guest

Forgive me if you think otherwise but the band name Death Hawks would perhaps suggest an ensemble comprised of guitar- and drum-bashing maniacs hacking away at the most jarring and dissonant of riffs and rhythms to create an ugly backdrop for the grunting beast that writhes, jabs, and fumes in the foreground. No? Well, if you disagree (or perhaps have encountered the band before) then it appears you would be on the band’s side. Drunk on 70’s Krautrock and psychedelia, album number two from the Fins is an interesting work.

Imagine if you will dear reader, some shimmering horizon at the vague boundary of a peyote-peppered desert which you, inexplicably, are finding your way to. Horse-perched and hallucinating in the unforgiving sun, you encounter the Santana band of the 70s, Carlos’ guitar lines glistening in the latin rhythms reverberating from the band’s bongos and bass lines. Whispers drift across subtle instrumentation and a cowboy whistles a mercilessly memorable melody as you mosey ever onward in search of an oasis, an escape from this illusion. Shamanistic in feel, there’s a mystical aura about this album. It’s like a weekend at Timothy Leary’s holiday home. Far out and inner-worldly, there’s a solemnity and a loneliness about the experience that is as subtly uplifting as it is pleasurable.

In describing them as “a timeless band”, the band’s website may be a little, shall we say, ambitious, but while not wholly unique or individual, there is something intriguing about this record. At thirty five minutes, it’s pretty short but it still feels complete, as if had it been any longer, its potency would have been diluted. The album is simultaneously ghostly and psychedelic, blending the essence of 60s free-love festivals – think Cream and The Moody Blues jamming with The Grateful Dead – with the forlorn free jazz vibes of Miles Davis and The Doors. Verdant, elegant, and serene, this is worth your time. Enjoy the trip.

Death Hawks 20137.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Night Children
  2. Cain Go Home (2. Session)
  3. Blind Daughter Of Death
  4. Grim-Eyed Goat
  5. Quiet Sun
  6. Cain Go Home (1. Session)
  7. Black Acid