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The Hawkins - Silence is a Bomb Award winner

The Hawkins
Silence is a Bomb
by Dani Bandolier at 04 September 2020, 12:13 PM

“Silence is a Bomb” is the new release from THE HAWKINS (2013) a swell music group from lovely Arboga, Sweden. The Press Kit reads thusly: Flying high with The Hawkins. Keeping rock simple in a modern day and age. Just as contagious as the bird flu, the electric band vibrates into the sky. Drums, bass and guitars are just ready to explode. The Hawkins are always ready to drop the bomb. But there won´t be any silence when this band hits the stage. The band describes themselves as a cross between ROYAL REPUBLIC, PROPAGANDHI, THE HIVES, and IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC. There is some evident songcraft on tap here with a few caveats.

Opening track ‘Silence is a Bomb’ sputters in uncertainly for one minute suggesting a less than pro production or a session outtake, then ‘Roomer’ arrives at ground zero laying down musical high explosive along the pop-music ridge-line and negates the less-than-pro production proposition – this is a bang-on mix. I hear Freddie Mercury in the vocals of Johannes Carlsson and I hear slick guitar picking by Mikael Thunborg. You brought me back, I kinda talked you into that‘Hilow’ is total QUEEN big rock and the closest thing to perfect HAWKINS songwriting for me, showing dynamics and patient urgency in hi-low verse-chorus-bridges that grab you by the knickers and say “listen up, sucka”. This I do decree My Favourite Canticle.

So don’t take your time, so make up your mind‘Mynah’ is bangin’ and another stellar song riding currents of THE HAWKINS rock opera delivery of guitar tones with a tip of the hat to Brian May while Albin Grill demonstrates solid right foot action and riffing on this release; these lads spent their time to get their production just right. ‘Minuette’ is a 60 second punker and rails by in a New York minute  – Red Bull fast with 10,000 volts of music energy charged with Martin Larsson’s ballin’ bass. ‘Cut Moon Bleeds’ spurts effortless vocals on a lunar rock sortie.

The lyrics of ‘Libertine’ hint at some sort of hipster indictment of … well, hipsters in the form of libertines, I guess. I say old chaps, I don’t perceive much development in the song idea … I know who I am and you don’t understand‘Stranger in the Next Room’ is QOTSA-ish and I dig it but again, the lyrics take the listener for chumps with couplets of quartz that just does not pan out to golden nuggets. Cool Sub-n-Up guitar synth licks burn down one track - far out man ¡! … wishing for cancer to come … impertinent and cavalier ode to - being bored stiff or an actual lung-erdeath ? - ‘Black Gold’ is uh, just wrong lyrically (like closing tune ‘All My Birds are Dead’) but a righteous over the top jam it sho-nuff is, mates.

There is a grand musical vision present on “Silence is a Bomb” and I would expect no less from this band of Swedes – the word is Slick with a capital S. Johannes chews the lyrics and effortlessly spits them out with multi-octave sizz while the band shows the beef with mega chops. Guitarist Mikael Thunborg is incredible and I rarely dig guitar players as much – his guitar lines are melodic, incendiary and foregoing predictable technical clichés – you hang on and never know where his roller coaster leads will end up.

But O, I am fortune's fool! … the lyrics largely fail to connect with me and t’is a shame, the music is bang-on and you can’t ask for more in a QUEEN- MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE- PARAMOUR-THE HIVES influenced band. Maybe there is an inside wink-nod literary-cultural thang goin’ on or perhaps the Svenska to English bridge is closed for repairs or hey, it could be my synaptic language receptors fried from too much SLAYER. I am certain that THE HAWKINS are big in Sweden and the Nordic lands and if they are not, they should be. If you dig the bands I mention or you are a fan of incredible pop music production, have a listen.

Svindbra ¡! Så JA!!!! dani bandoliers Spotify lista över granskade musikkår ..

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/272H3UBARsuksY3BqU0CzP?si=AQCwVS3ZRdO4awBuAQBlxw

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Silence is a Bomb
2. Roomer
3. Hilow
4. Stones
5. Mynah
6. Minuette
7. Cut Moon Bleeds
8. Libertine
9. Stranger in the Next Room
10. Black Gold
11. Fisherman Blues
12. All My Birds Are Dead
Lineup:
Johannes Carlsson - Lead vocals/Guitar
Mikael Thunborg - Guitar/Background vocals
Albin Grill - Drums/Background vocals
Martin Larsson - Bass
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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