Wednesday 13 May 2015

The Magnificent Shit Hawks Of The Greater Northern Americas - The Monumental Misadventures of Skeeter Jennings .​.​.​in LOVE (EP Review)

The Monumental Misadventures of Skeeter Jennings LOVE cover art

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 13th October 2014
Label: Self Released

The Monumental Misadventures of Skeeter Jennings LOVE - Track Listing:

1.KILL THE RAT 01:25
2.COVENANT 02:56
4.DAYMAN 02:30

The Magnificent Shit Hawks Of The Greater Northern Americas is:

Bob - Drums
Nick - Guitar/Vocals
Les - Bass


Bob and Nick had a band called Breechloader, they found Les. Together the sound evolved and has become magnificent, being the shit hawks that we are it was only right to change the name.


The Magnificent Shithawks of the Greater Northern Americas released their 4 song debut EP The Monumental Misadventures of Skeeter Jennings…in LOVE, back in October of 2014. Considering the fact that they are relatively new on the metal scene in Philadelphia, it’s not surprising that a gem like this like managed to slip through the cracks. The power trio comprised of guitarist Nick Macklin, bassist Les Schultz, and drummer Bob Warner blend various styles and genres into an intense, aggressive, and utterly unique brand of doom metal.

Nick and Les split the vocal duties on the EP. The dichotomy in their styles of singing is a perfect contrast in how the music evolves throughout the EP. The Shithawks, start out with “Kill the Rat,” which is an immediate punch to the face followed by a swift kick to the balls. “Covenant,” is the immediate follow up and features a Motorhead-esque attitude and construction and drops an impressive tempo change as part of the bridge. Probably the best song of the EP, “Space Ghost,” was constructed originally as a throwaway song. “Space Ghost was something I wrote to practice singing and playing,” said bassist Les. It is reminiscent of an early Matt Pike composition where a traditional blues structure is built, broken down, rearranged, and drowned in distortion and fuzz. A climatic end to the EP features an homage to the locally based show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, with the song “Dayman.” The song is a vicious pounding of hammers into the ear of the listener to permanently affix them into slowly head banging.

While the EP is extremely good, it is not without its faults. Most notably the gang vocals in certain areas. “If we could go back and do it again, I wouldn’t do any group vocals,” said Les, “I think we just wanted to try too much too soon.” I believe that the screaming and yelling of Les and Nick should stand alone in adding character and depth to the songs so because of the strange quality to their voices. Another issue I have with the EP is that while the songs over all, are very good, it is extremely short. The total run time is about 12 minutes, which in the Doom Metal community, could often times be one song or just the introduction in bands like Ennoea’s case. It is a solid foundation for a scrappy upstart band to build upon. If they bring half as much energy and twice the preparation time, their next release may make some serious noise.

The Monumental Misadventures of Skeeter Jennings…in LOVE has an endearing and lasting quality because of the raw and uncontainable power it brings to the table. It is also probably the greatest study of the various stylistic backgrounds each member comes from. The blues guitar of Nick, scale surfing bass lines of Les, and speedy thumping of Bob. If you are the type to comb through Bandcamp for affordable and seldom recognized recordings, this EP is right in your wheel house. It might be the first you’re hearing of The Magnificent Shithawks of the Greater Northern Americas, but I guarantee it won’t be the last thing you hear from them.

7.5 out of 10. Very good, very heavy, but short run time.

Words by: Jim Eccles

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