The Hawkins – “Live In The Woods” EP (The Sign Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Besides brewing their own beer, including a fresh IPA simply entitled ‘Fuck You All I’m Drinking Beer’, Swedish band The Hawkins have established themselves, over the course of 2 studio albums and tours across Europe, Russia and their homeland playing Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan and Peace & Love as the band to see. Playing hugely catchy rock ‘n’ roll along the lines of The Hellacopters and Imperial State Electric infused with punk in places as well as blues elsewhere, The Hawkins now release this 7 track live EP partly recorded in the deep forest, partly recorded in an abandoned barn, and partly recorded at Brasstacks Brewing, who last year created the band’s latest craft beer – ‘Olsson Lager’! Opening with ‘Hilow (Live in the Woods)’ you immediately hear what all the fuss is about as raw garage riffs collide with diamond melodies in leading up to the deep ‘n’ groovy rhythmic chorus led Johannes Carlsson’s moving vocals wailing occasionally into falsetto – and that’s just for starters. Hitting the punk throttle on ‘Black Gold (Live in the Woods)’, catchy clanging melodies collide with the pure rock ‘n’ roll of Carlsson and Mikael Thunborg as their twin guitars scream and wail in unfettered bliss, while drummer Albin Grill maintains a hammering backbeat to really get your heart pumping on this racing song. Led by another powerful main melody, ‘Roomer (Live at Brasstacks Brewing)’ wails into your soul instantly thanks to Carlsson’s passionate crooning and falsetto accompanied in part by a warm accordion, but then the energy of the pulsating amps – not to mention that natural smell of hops! With Grill pounding in a hard beat to the bluesy guitars on ‘Cut Moon Bleeds (Live at Brasstacks Brewing)’, Carlsson’s falsetto piles it high as the twin guitars blossom more catchy melodic wails and croons amid Grill’s own explosive percussion to make it clear The Hawkins are a band to be reckoned with on “Live In The Woods”. Quite simply, they’re pure rock ‘n’ roll and on fire here.