Tuesday 22 August 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Low Flying Hawks - "Genkaku"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/08/2017
Label: Magnetic Eye Records

Low Flying Hawks come at you with a chugging, thick mélange of sound you will not soon forget, there's an aesthetic through this release that makes their  second foray sound quite breathtaking.

"Genkaku" CD//DD//LP track listing:

1.) Smile
2.) Uncool
3.) Virgin Witch
4.) Space Wizard
5.) Hallucination
6.) Twilight
7.) Sinister Waves

The Review:

Sporting a bond to sludge metal icons the Melvins is never a bad thing. And such a relationship is all the more noteworthy when your bag is self described as ambient metal, known otherwise depending on who you ask as drone metal. In the case of Low Flying Hawks, they're even closer to the Washington State legends than throwaway words in a press kit. As Low Flying Hawks features Crover's peerless stylings as well as Melvins' producer Toshi Kasai and guest vocals from King Buzzo himself.

Do not come to the recording expecting the Melvins' crunch, though. On its successor to the 2016 debut “Kōfuku”, Low Flying Hawks instead come at you with a chugging, thick mélange of sound you will not soon forget.

"Genkaku" (Japanese for “hallucination” or illusion”) is a mind-bending journey. The swirling guitars and indecipherable words in "Uncool" are indicative of that trip – dreamlike, or nightmarish, paths lain bare with Crover's pensive drum duties. A song such as "Hallucination" has almost a shoegaze feel to it, even though it is most decidedly doom in nature. The discerning listener will find a bit of a psychedelic rock influence in several tracks. Although you may hear such especially in our sludge metal friends, prototypical notions of 'Melvins side project' this is not. Rather, there's an aesthetic through this release that makes Low Flying Hawks' second foray sound quite breathtaking.

At the same time, the release is punishing when it needs to be. As in “Kōfuku”, the sophomore recording takes plenty of toilsome turns. The big sound is present and accounted for, complete with multilayered instrumentation and riffs that build to impressive arcs throughout. You have to appreciate the King Buzzo-fronted track "Space Wizard" for its pacing in this regard, as well as that of "Virgin Witch," which is one of the most Melvins sounding songs, in all of the best ways, on this recording. All in all, Low Flying Hawks exceeds the anticipation one might have about its members' histories. The band also gets you thinking about how they can expand past that.

"Genkaku" is available to preorder/buy here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook